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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Macbeth written by William Shakespeare is a tragedy about a man who believes the prophecy that was told to him by three witches saying he will become the Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. In addition, Macbeth encountered many obstacles before reaching his goal which is becoming the king of Scotland. Lady Macbeth questions whether he is a man because he hesitates to kill innocent people that are in his way. Moreover, the witches gained nothing from telling Macbeth the prophecy that made him end up being killed in the end. Unfortunately, this reminder of his guilt does not prevent him from continuing acts.
Although Macbeth was of noble blood, his belief in fate will be the fatal flaw to bring on his downfall. First, three witches plan to meet with Macbeth who upon meeting state, “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter.” Yet Macbeth doesn’t know it at this point that he will have to go through a tragic suffering to do so. Soon after he becomes Thane of Cawdor he and Lady Macbeth dirty their hands with Duncan's blood so Macbeth could become king. Second, Macbeth’s lineage was of Scottish royalty. Macbeth was the cousin of the king, Duncan, whom he was very close to before the deed had been done. Killing the king brought mental suffrage to Macbeth and his wife both. While feeling He also ordered the murders of Macduff’s family and Banquo
Macduff’s burning desire for revenge towards Macbeth was encouraged by many forces. As it is known, Macbeth murders Duncan which causes Malcolm to flee to England because he fears for his life. Following Duncan’s death, Macduff was the first to discover Duncan dead, and it can be inferred that he was so angry and mortified that it sparks apprehensiveness towards Macbeth’s acquiring the throne. As he realizes that he does not agree with Macbeth’s reign, he decides to leave his family behind in Fife to go to England to find Malcolm, the true heir to the throne. His plan is to conspire with Malcolm to build an army against Macbeth. Macduff was so loyal to Scotland and the true ruler that he was willing to abandon his family in the process of freeing Scotland from tyranny. As he meets with Malcolm, Ross delivers the news that
As well as seeing the ghost of his murdered friend Banquo at the diner table, he also develops insomnia, and goes so far on as to suggest that he is jealous of Duncan because he can sleep forever whereas he cannot sleep at all. He also loses his appetite and can no longer eat well; this shows that his insides are turning with the memory that he himself had killed a King who had been so good to him and to Scotland. After getting Banquo killed, Macbeth sees his ghost at the banquet with twelve bloody gashes in his head; this makes Macbeth completely insane in an instant. He is not only scared by seeing the ghost of Banquo, but also by the thought that he had done these horrible things, and that his soul would be haunted by his murdered friends ghost for ever. It is through the main characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth that this theme of guilt and conscience is so vividly portrayed.
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 passion to become king, take over his better half and eventually lead to his downfall. The 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 passion and ambition which drove his desire to become king to the utmost extreme. The prophecy told by the three witches was what triggers the other factors that contribute to Macbeth s downfall. In the first act, the witches
After this the great changes in Macbeth as he makes his transition to the ruthless tyrant that he is at the end are more obvious. Shortly after the murder, Macbeth becomes a ruthless king, filled with great paranoia. Now he remembers the other part of the prophecy when the witches tell Banquo, “thou shalt get kings, though thou not be none…”(Act 1, Scene 3, Line 67-68). The new paranoid Macbeth decides that Banquo must be eliminated to preserve his own power and “royal” lineage. “Our fears in Banquo stick deep…to make them Kings, the seeds of Banqou Kings! Rather then though so, come, fate into the list, and champion me to th’utterance! (Act 3, Scene 1, Line 49-72) The difference between the ways he dealt with this incident and the way he dealt with Duncan is that this time his decision is quick, no longer second guessing his decision or showing any signs of guilt, even though now he is killing his best friend. Macbeth does not consult his plans with Lady Macbeth either; whose torment has taken her down the path of insanity, and subsequently suicide. Murder has now become his nature, his empathy engulfed by his evil ambitions. “Oh full of scorpions in my mind dear wife!”(Act 3, Scene 2, Line 36). This is the last time in the play that any remnants of guilt are seen in Macbeth, his guilt presents as another hallucination, this time of Banquo’s bloody ghost. It is this final presence of guilt in this part of the plot
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s desire and ambition leads to her eventual downfall. When Lady Macbeth hears of Macbeth’s prophecy she dreams of the glory and high-standing that awaits being queen. She cannot withhold her ambitions and she is willing to manipulate fate to bring about Macbeth’s prophecy. She invokes evil spirits to be filled from head to toe with cruelty to do the evil actions necessary to make Macbeth king and to remove all remorse and pity for her action from her heart. She is initially able to be involved in the treacherous deeds that are needed to bring about the prophecy quickly, but as the play progresses the weight of the merciless deeds fill her with remorse. The remorse and pain she feels for her wicked
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 passion to become king, take over his better half and eventually lead to his downfall. The 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 passion and ambition which drove his desire to become king to the utmost extreme. The prophecy told by the three witches was what triggers the other factors that contribute to Macbeth s downfall. In the first act, the witches
This is indicated when Macbeth says, "Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, till thou applaud the deed"(Shakespeare, 3.2, 45). In this quote, Macbeth is explaining to Lady Macbeth that he wants to keep his plan private, but to not worry because she will be pleased with the turnout of the event. The extreme paranoia that has been haunting Macbeth, is now creating a rift in their marriage. After brutally murdering King Duncan, Macbeth nervously exclaims "Who's there? What, ho?"(Shakespeare, 2.2, 12). Macbeth is positive that he is hearing a voice, but it is just the result of the paranoia that has been pounding against his mind. He repeatedly questions Lady Macbeth on where and who the voice is, determined to come to a conclusion to prove to himself that he is not delusional. Lady Macbeth informs Macbeth that there was no voice and that he must be having a hallucination. During the banquet, Macbeth shouts “Hence, horrible shadow! Unreal mockery, hence!”(Shakespeare, 3.4, 110-111). When Macbeth begins to walk back to his seat to start the meal, he is startled to find his seat occupied by a false creation of the ghost of Banquo. Macbeth is caught off guard and threatens the ghost that he will harm him if he does not vanish soon. He is losing touch with reality due to the paranoia that has been eating away at his sanity. The weaker his sanity gets, the more anxious, suspicious, and insecure Macbeth becomes. This is continuing to push Macbeth farther away from reality, and deeper into his own mentally unstable
In the story of MacBeth, we see a couple who wants success, and will do anything to get it. In the beginning, MacBeth is nothing but a warrior, but when he meets a group of witches his whole life changes. He and his wife, Lady MacBeth, go on to formulate plan after plan that later ends in both of them being dead. The question that most people have when the story ends is, who is to blame for the death of all the innocent people that happen to cross paths with MacBeth?
In the tragic play of Macbeth, a series of unpremeditated events unfold from the murder of King Duncan. Macbeth kills King Duncan in order to become the king of Scotland, but was, in turn, overthrown by those who resisted his rule. The one who is to blame for these events can be argued as almost any character in the book as they all had a role in this disarray. From my view, Macbeth is the one who had ultimately caused the peripeteia experienced by him and his wife, with his ambition and Lady Macbeth being factors of what influences Macbeth’s decision making.
“When we have mark’d with blood those sleepy two / Of his own chamber, and us’d their very daggers, / That they have done’t?” (1.7.75-77). Macbeth is even more corrupt now that he’s king as the witches said he would be. After a chat with Banquo, Macbeth becomes suspicious that Banquo knows something. “Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis, all, / As the weϊrd women promis’d and I fear / Thou played’st most foully for’t;... (3.1.1-3). His corrupt little mind gets cranking and he devises a plan to kill Banquo, bringing him to the last straw of innocence. “I’ll call upon you straight; abide within. / It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight, / If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.” (3.1.143-145). Macbeth has now been transformed into a ‘corrupt politician’. Once loyal and innocent, wouldn't hurt a innocent fly. Now evil and corrupt, killing anyone suspicious. In conclusion, Macbeth is a strange character. His train of thoughts and thinking does a 180 by Act 2. Thus concluding that Macbeth is like a politician, he starts out innocent and ends up
The three witches told Macbeth his fate, but the event happened because of his actions not because of the witches’ prophesy. All Macbeth actions leads to his death, because he killed to have power and how he said everything comes around in some point. Macbeth had a lot of fate and because of his fate he got killed. He decided to take the witches’ prophesy on the wrong way that they actually meant, they said “ Be bloody, bold, and resolute! Laugh to scorn the pow’r of man, for none of women born shall harm Macbeth.” This was one of the predictions and Macbeth first though was that nobody can harm him because everyone is born from a women. The second Prophesy of the witches was ‘ Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care. Who chafes, who frets,
First off, Macbeth’s ambition leads him to fall into paranoia. It drives him mad, and makes him hallucinate. Macbeth kills so many men seamlessly but after the murder of Banquo he begins to go crazy. “Macbeth does murder sleep…Macbeth shall sleep no more.”(II.II). When he sleeps he sees Banquo and he cannot deal with the guilt. He even began to have visions of Banquo’s ghost “If thou canst nod, speak too. /if charnel-houses and our graves must send/those that we bury back, our monuments/shall be the maws of kites.”(III.IV) Not only does he ask the murderers twice if Banquo is dead but he also becomes paranoid because Fleance got away. In Act 3 scene 4, Macbeth as king holds a feast with all his friends. During this feast he begins to hallucinate, he sees Banquo’s ghost. Lady
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth, a once honored and valiant Thane, abandons all virtue after three meddling witches prophesize his ascent to the Scottish throne. Consumed by his ambition and encouraged by his malevolent wife, Macbeth sets forth on a downward spiral of murderous treason and tyranny that subsequently leads to his own demise. This Shakespearean tragedy explores betrayal, manipulation and the blood lust that adjoins a relentless climb for power. Hovering behind the narrative are various supernatural forces and visions that seem to be present during each terrible act. Subsequently, a question prevails whether Macbeth’s downfall is result of his own flaw or if these forces possess a vice-like hold over