During the summer of 2018, the silence broke out in the art complex at Santa Fe High School, Texas. It was about twenty minutes to eight in the cloudless morning when the sirens went off. A seventeen-year-old, along with a twelve-gauge short-barreled action shotgun and a snub-nosed revolver, smashed through the barricaded doors into the classrooms and shot eight students and two professors. The disturbed teen left ten dead and thirteen injured. Moments later, after a brief conversation with the county sheriff, the gunman shot himself in guilt and remorse, leaving himself in a critical condition. Once recovered from his injury, he was interrogated where he claimed to be guilty for assaulting the defenseless people just for the sake of, as he said “to get my message through.” Parallel to his actions, Macbeth, a prominent character of Shakespeare's Macbeth, accompanied by Adolf Hitler were in similar situations that led to their unforgiving demise. Although Macbeth and Adolf Hitler used the means of betrayal and manipulation to climb their way up to power, their vaulting ambitions and uncontrollable fate led to their ultimate downfall.
Although literature might be fictional, often conflicts in a work relate to actual events. For instance, the crave for power among the dynamic characters caused them to betray or manipulate their people into believing in them. During the play, we are introduced to the witches, who play a major role in Macbeth’s life and decisions. Their claim to depict Macbeth’s future as the king of Scotland astonished Macbeth. Stunned by their prophecies, Macbeth’s mindset was nothing more than claiming the throne of Scotland. Macbeth and his wife, knowing the king well, premeditated something that the king would never suspect. Though Macbeth’s emotions might have taken over him a few times, Lady Macbeth’s manipulation caused Macbeth to betray Duncan. In the same way, Adolf Hitler uses the means of manipulation to get power and support from the desperate people of Germany. A simple and appealing promise by Hitler brainwashed the people of Germany into believing him. It might have taken time to condition the people into believing in him, but his result was explicit. Paul Von Hindenburg's power had finally come to an end, thus giving Germany into the hands of Adolf Hitler.
Based on the past, the idea of “vaulting ambition” often leads to a downfall. It is quite similar in the case of the infamous character of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth and the well-known dictator of Germany Adolf Hitler. Macbeth tries to rationalize his destined murder for Duncan. “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, / And falls on th'other.” Unfortunately, his relative Duncan is nothing more than a noble and pious man, a loyal king, and a guest at his castle. Macbeth, having no spur, still decides to take matters into his hands by letting his vaulting ambition take over his emotions. Realizing the consequences Macbeth still kills Duncan for nothing but fulfilling his intent. Similarly, Hilter’s idea of creating space for the Germans is none other than an example of vaulting ambition. His never-ending, victorious wars against European countries led his ambition to take over him. His idea of invading the soviet union led to his demise. His failed attempt to annex the Soviets caused him to lose all his power. The idea of having a vaulting ambition led both of them to their ultimate downfall.
Fate, as some believe, is an uncontrollable force that has the power to forge one's destiny. In the play, Macbeth puts destiny before himself and his fate which later plays a major role in his life. Macbeth becomes a victim of his fate as his destiny of becoming the king of Scotland takes over him, allowing his ambitions to drive him crazy. Equivalently, Hitler is a target of his fate. Hitler uses his power as a tool, eliminating every opposition he had to achieve his goal. Even though a few might not believe the presence of the holocaust, Hitler eliminated millions of Jews just for the sake of hatred or abhorrence. These events together slowly built up, leading to his downfall. The power of fate among these two individuals caused both their lives.
Undoubtedly, both individuals have had a successful beginning, but their crave for power, vaulting ambition and uncontrollable fate led to their demise. Macbeth and Hitler both being targets of their doings had no control over their decisions, thus letting themselves follow their obscure future.