Shakespeare's Macbeth - Lady Macbeth and the Tragic Flaw Are to Blame

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Lady Macbeth and the Tragic Flaw Are to Blame

"...Go pronounce his present death,/ And with his former title greet Macbeth." (Act 1, Scene 2, 64-65) Though the word "death" in this sentence refers to the former thane of Cawdor's demise, Shakespeare uses the clever trick of foreshadowing Macbeth's downfall by coupling the word "death" with the word "Macbeth" so early in the tragedy. The quote has another importance it introduces the ideas of treachery and personal gain from less-than-legitimate means, two characteristics Macbeth picks up on as the story advances. We are introduced to Macbeth as a hero, a slayer of the Norweyans, even "Bellona's bridegroom, lapped in proof" (Act 1, Scene 2, 54), but by the end of the play
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During the famed banquet scene, the Lady again saves Macbeth by covering up his fear of Banquo's ghost. However by this time, her ruthlessness has taken root in Macbeth and to the end of the play, her mental state deteriorates from clear-headed to death, hitting the intermediary stages of remorse, insanity and sleepwalking.

In the third scene of the first act, Banquo** asks, "...have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?" in response to the witches' prophecies. Banquo is partly right in the assumption that Macbeth's mind is not pure. When Macbeth says "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step/ On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap" (Act 1, Scene 4, 48-49), we see that Macbeth may have already the idea of killing Duncan. Macbeth's ultimate goal is to become king; he does this with a certain amount of ease, but the process somehow awakens his tragic flaw, the ruthlessness with which he destroys his own reign. After he kills the dead king's servents, his targets are Banquo and Fleance, who have heard or are involved in the third prophecy. Macbeth sends the three murderers who stab the famous dying words out of Banquo's mouth: "Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! (Act 3, Scene 3, 17). Macbeth must crush dissent he kills Macduff's wife and children. Macbeth's reign of non-stop killing erodes Scotland's confidence in him and he has no chance
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