Downfall of Macbeth

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The tragedy of “Macbeth," by William Shakespeare, follows the fall of Macbeth from a man in a position of power with a contented life, to a man with nothing but “mouth honor” and a corrupted soul. In this essay, I wish to show to what extent Macbeth’s tragedy was his own fault.

The downfall of Macbeth begins early on in the play when he and Banquo (a fellow Scottish noble) meet the witches. The witches waylay Macbeth and Banquo whilst they were on their way to meet Duncan, King of Scotland. They decide to listen to the witches, out of sheer curiosity. The three witches greet Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis”, the title he already holds, and begin to tell the two nobles of things to come, and prophesies that Macbeth will become Thane of
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Underneath, however, he wants to go along with the idea so he can become king. His underlying motives become clear when he decides that he will do the evil thing, and is going to kill Duncan. “We will speak further,” he says, making his intentions apparent to the audience. Although unsure, he will not totally dismiss the idea, and is even considering it. Lady Macbeth now knows that she has him within her grasp, and she will now make sure that she wins him completely over. In my opinion, not making his mind up creates a chance for Lady Macbeth. She sees this uncertainty and later exploits his unwillingness to make decisions.

A short while later, Duncan arrives, accompanied by all of his Thanes. They all feast, and drink to the success of the battle against Norway. As the night wears on, Macbeth has to time to contemplate the consequences of killing Duncan. Macbeth makes the moral decision not to proceed saying;

“We will proceed no further in this business. He (Duncan) hath honoured me of late, and I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in the newest gloss, not cast aside so soon”.

Macbeth attempts to give excuse for not proceeding, but fails to give any proper reasons for it. The only advantage he sees for not killing Duncan is that he respects him, and by killing him it would be disrespecting him. I believe that this is not

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