Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth Downfall

Shakespeare: Macbeth

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In William Shakespeare s Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth, is a brave and
loyal subject to the King of Scotland, but as the play progresses, his character
begins to change drastically. Evil and unnatural powers, as well as his own
desire to become king, take over his better half and eventually lead to his
downfall. Three main factors that intertwine with one another that contribute to
Macbeth s tragic end are the prophecies told by the three witches, Lady Macbeth
s influence, and finally, Macbeth s excessive ambition which drove his desire to
become king. The prophecy told by the three witches was what triggers the other
factors that contribute to Macbeth s downfall. In the first act, Macbeth is told
by the witches that he is to become the Thane of Cawdor and soon after, king.
This prophecy arouses Macbeth s curiosity of how he can become the King of
Scotland. Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more. By Sinel s death I kno I
am Thane of Glamis. But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives a prosperous
gentleman, and to be king stands not within the prospect of belief. (Act 1.
sc.3) This quote shows how the witches prophecy attracts Macbeth. It
demonstrated how Macbeth thirsts for an answer from the witches of how is he to
become the Thane of Cawdor and king. As the play continues, Macbeth slowly
relies on the witches prophecies. It becomes a remedy for Macbeth s curiosity
which corrupts his character. One of the witches prophecies becomes true when
Macbeth is named the Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan. At this point, Macbeth
seeks advice from his wife, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth provides a scheme for
Macbeth to assassinate the King. She is manipulative and persuasive in
corrupting Macbeth s judgement. What beast was t then, that you break this
enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than
what you are, you would be so much more the man K Khad I sworn as you have done
this. (Act 1. Sc.7) In this quote, Lady Macbeth is agitating Macbeth by saying
he is not a man if he does not do what he says he is going to do, which is to
murder the king. This angers Macbeth and enables him to follow Lady Macbeth s
scheme to kill the king and continue killing. Macbeth s first murder is a trying
experience for him. However, as the play progresses, killing seems to be the
only solution to maintain his reign of the people of Scotland. Macbeth becomes
increasingly ambitious as the play goes on. The witches prophecies and Lady
Macbeth s influence intensifies his ambition and drives Macbeth to obtain and
maintain his title of Scotland by whatever means, even murdering his best
friend, Banquo. Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown K..No Son of mine
succeeding K..If t be so, for Banquo s Issue have I filed my mind; For them the
gracious Duncan I have murdered make them kings, the Seeds of Banquo kings
(Act 3. sc.1) At this point Macbeth s becomes more and more extreme to the point
where no one stands in his way. His greed, violence, and hunger for power
declines his character. The witches prophecy, Lady Macbeth s influence, and
Macbeth s own ambition all contribute greatly to his deterioration of character
which results in his downfall, which was death. All the causes link to one
another. If it wasn t for witches prophecies, Macbeth would still be his
ordinary self. Because of these prophecies, Macbeth s curiosity of possibly
becoming king was brought out which led Lady Macbeth s controlling influence.
Macbeth s ambition then builds and causes him to commit a series of murders, one
of which, include his own best friend. If one of these factors were missing,
Macbeth would not have been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King
Duncan, which ultimately leads to his destruction.
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