Sharing the Blame in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Sharing the Blame in Macbeth

The great Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth is a tale about a Scottish Thane, Macbeth, who, seemingly according to a prophecy of witches, becomes Thane of Cawdor, and King. And because Macbeth has gained his throne through deceit and treacherous ways, he loses it. The blame for the downfall of Macbeth lies with Macbeth himself, Lady Macbeth and the witches.

Enter the first act, second scene. We see good King Duncan and his Thanes, talk about the outcome of a war well won. All the men seem to praise good Macbeth. A first impression is made that Macbeth is a good man, not a treacherous one.

""For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name -""

1:2, 16

He receives the praise of his peers, and
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By this happening, it makes Macbeth believe that the prophecy is becoming true, that he is destined to become King of the Scots.

""If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me

Without my stir.""

1:3, 143-144

Macbeth is totally enrapt with the idea that he may become King of all Scotland. Herein lies the blame for the witches. If they had not given the prophecy to Macbeth, he would not have wanted to become King. Before the witching encounter, he was perfectly happy with his current life. Thane of Glamis, a good wife, great battles to behold. One word from the witches, and *bam*, he's caught. He instantly has higher thoughts of himself. He looks at the greater glories which he supposedly could behold. So, the blame can be laid on the witches. If it was not for their prophecy concerning Macbeth's good fortune, Macbeth would never have fallen.

The witches also gave a second oracle, when Macbeth came to see them again. This was after Macbeth had 'fallen from the light.'

""By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes.

Open, locks, whoever knocks!""

4:1, 44-46

Here we have an acknowledgement by the witches that Macbeth has indeed turned to evil. It is proof that Macbeth has fallen from the light, as evil acknowledges evil.

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