Macbeth's Downfall

1024 WordsSep 7, 20085 Pages
Macbeth’s Downfall A guilty conscience can make anyone go mad it they let it. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is an ideal example of this. Macbeth, a noble of Scotland, lets his ambitions to be great and powerful get the best of him. His vaulting ambition makes him do terrible acts of violence continuously. The guilty conscience he holds on his back eventually becomes too heavy ultimately driving him insane. Greed and guilt cause the madness of this protagonist thus causing his downfall, not only as a King but also his life he strived so hard to make better. As the story opens Macbeth is seen to be a noble fellow of Scotland, but after meeting three witches his great image begins to fade. The witches are introduced in the story as Macbeth…show more content…
He is deeply frightened by the images because if these images are the future Kings that means his reign will end. Soon after Banquo’s death Macbeth claims to see the bloody ghost of Banquo sitting at the dinner table. He accuses the men at the table for being responsible by saying, “Which of you have done this?” (Shakespeare 3.4.58). To the rest of the people at the table the seat is empty causing them confusion if their King. This is the first time people outside the castle get a glimpse of how Macbeth has begun to turn mad. Lady Macbeth tries to cover for him by saying, “Sit my friends: my lord is often thus” (Shakespeare 3.4.63). She is trying to make them believe Macbeth has always been like this but it’s really his guilty conscience getting the best of him, thus projecting another supernatural sign of his guilt. Macbeth’s guilty conscience is taking a toll on his sanity. This is now the second time Macbeth has seen something that isn’t really there. He continues to kill people driving himself deeper into madness. Towards the end of the story Macduff, another nobleman, leaves Macbeth’s tyranny to join a crusade to put Malcolm, the rightful King, on the throne. When Macbeth gets news that Macduff has abandoned him he becomes enraged. He orders the same three men that killed Banquo to kill Macduff’s family which includes a small infant. He says to them, “give to the edge o’ the sword his wife, his babes, and all
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