Brutus, in explaining his decision to put Caesar to death, uses "ambition" as a dirty word: "As he was ambitious, I slew him" (3.2.28). Antony seizes on this and uses it in his famous oration (3.2.83ff), juxtaposing the claim of Caesar's ambition with Brutus' honor. I'm wondering, do we find negative connotation in the etymology of "ambition"? Or does it come from elsewhere, somewhere cultural?
And, in a play where we are asked to mistrust a primary conspirator, Cassius, because "he thinks too much," where do Elizabethan values seem to lie? In thoughts or deeds?
(Quotes from Folger edition)
It’s Not Hamlet
1 day ago