That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself And falls on th’ other.
These hesitant words are said by Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 7 Page 1 of “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. Macbeth metaphorically concludes his long speech about the fact that he doesn’t really want to kill King Duncan who is now his guest to become the King himself. Macbeth names some reasons not to do this: the first of them is that Duncan is, after all, his guest and Macbeth promised to defend him due to sacred laws of hospitality. Another reason is much more philosophical: committing violence will lead to the bigger violence that later would return to the first offender. Macbeth considers that he will teach others violence by his actions, so he shouldn’t expect people to be kind and compassionate to their new King. The last reason is political: Duncan’s reputation is so flawless that his murder will lift him to the status of a martyr and people will pity him so much that they simply won’t obey the next King who, possibly, killed his predecessor.
We should say that Macbeth is right all the three times. If it were not for Lady Macbeth who lectured him later for his cowardice, perhaps “Macbeth” wouldn’t be a tragedy.