NCEA 1.8 – Significant Connections. Ambition

I believe my understanding of the human quality, Ambition has developed 
after reading these three texts, Gattaca, Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection, Macbeth and Ozymandias.

As mentioned below Macbeth is spurred on by nothing but Ambitions, all his actions are derived from his ambition.

I have no spur

To prick the sides only
Vaulting ambition, which oerleaps itself
And falls on the other

Act 1, Scene 7
Having ambition as a driving force for some decisions but having it as a driving force for all decisions, this demonstrated later in the play when Macbeth makes a decision with ambition that shouldn’t have, his choice to focus on just himself and his success not caring about the consequences of his decisions is what is wrong with having ambition as someones main school of thought.

This is also similar for  Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem Ozymandias.
This poem is a recording of a conversation between an adventurer and a narrator (this is the person recalling the story), the adventurer tells the narrator about a strange-, destroyed statue in a far away desert, he describes the statues state,

“…Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies”.

What does survive is a message imprinted on the pastille of the statue, it goes “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”. This is quite ironic because all of his ‘works’ are in ruin, this includes the statue, having the statue also in ruin with his visage sunk halfway hints at the fact that we can’t even recognise who this king was and so the memory of the king is lost and the memory of the sculptors skill is remembered and commemorated instead.

The story behind Gattaca is about a man born into a society that discriminate on poor genetics, thinking that they are not as capable as people who are born through eugenics, Vincent a man god born has a goal to travel to Saturn’s moon Titan but people don’t believe he can because he is not an equal. He instead has ambition and focuses on becoming the best he could be, from where his ambition difference from Macbeth’s and Ozymandias is that instead of focusing on becoming the best over all he focuses on his dream and achieves that. This is why he is remembered, doesn’t need to regret his decisions and his life isn’t in ruins.

This is also true for Omen Darkly, he was the second son to a family with a prophecy that the first born would be the one to pull the world out of darkness and Omen was successful in being apart of saving the world from devastation, similar to Vincent when Omen was playing his part in saving the world all he could think of was what people have said to him about how he wasn’t going to amount to anything, but instead of letting these thoughts bring him down he instead held onto them tight and used these thoughts to drive him to achieve. This is quite an amazing achievement because to do this he had to accept himself and understand that it isn’t others that make up someone it is that person that makes up themselves and it is our choice whether we let people have an effect on us, so not only did he achieve but he also as an amazing amount of will power.

So in conclusion I have found that ambition is definitely important to use to challenge yourself, but it also isn’t good to let it control you making ambition a double edged sword, it can drive you to be the best you that you can but it can also over well you and make you make pour decisions and not be as observant of your actions then if you weren’t focused on your ambition.

One Comment

  1. Your observations are good here, Eamon. If you wish, I’m happy to offer you a supervised period where you are able to expand on these ideas further, and to develop a more coherent style to what you’re writing. It’s a little dis-jointed at the moment, and also your quotes, while they’re correct for the ideas you’re communicating, are not always sufficiently explained – or, in some cases, are absent altogether.

    Let me know.



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