Ambition is a powerful, motivating force. Often it is considered desirable, since it inspires people to realize their dreams. In fact, people without ambition are usually regarded as lazy. Is it possible to be overly ambitious? When might high aspirations lead to terrible consequences? Such questions are explored in the story of Macbeth, a general whose ambition is to become king. With a partner, brainstorm a list of people – historical and contemporary – whose ambitions had tragic consequences. Beside their names, jot down what they hoped to achieve and the negative results of their ambitions. 1. Hitler 1. 2. John F. Kennedy 2. 3. 4. 5. Martin Luther King Obama Ponce de Leon 3. 4. 5. 6. Reverend Jim Jones 6. Death of millions and himself Corrupt / Unfaithful in marriage / Assassination Health Care Never found the Fountain of Youth Convinced people to commit ritualistic suicide 2nd Period 1. Karl Marx (idealist) Napoleon (started off as an idealist / became corrupt) 3. Julius Caesar 2. Nelson Mandella (idealist) 5. Saddam Hussein 6. Abraham Lincoln (idealist) 4. 1. Founder of Communism, which became corrupt. 2. He was defeated and exiled. 3. He wanted to conquer the world; he was assassinated by Brutus and the other conspirators. He was imprisoned; eventually worked out to his benefit. Terrorist / 9/11 attacks Assassinated 4. 5. 6. 2nd Period Used violent tactics for a noble cause. Tried to expunge Communism; in doing so, innocent people were hurt. 1. 2. Malcolm X McCarthy 3. John Lennon 3. 4. John Kennedy 4. 5. Rasputin 5. 6. George Wallace 6. Trying to fight for equality for races / shot at one of his speeches. 7. Nicholas Romanov 7. Removed from power / executed along with his entire family. 1. 2. He was a member of Beatles / shot and killed by a crazed fan because of the fan’s ambition. He was going to revolutionize American values / was assassinated. Influenced Russia through the Czar’s wife / sorcery / poisoned, shot, and drowned.