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Essay about The Downfall of Macbeth

Decent Essays
Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is the tragic tale of Macbeth,

a virtuous man, corrupted by power and greed. This tragedy can be classified by

one of two theories. One theory suggests that the tragic hero, Macbeth, is led

down an unescapable road of doom by an outside force; namely the three witches.

The second suggests that there is no supernatural force working against Macbeth,

which therefore makes him responsible for his own actions and inevitable

downfall. Macbeth is indeed responsible for his own actions which are provoked

by Lady Macbeth, the witches, his ambition, and an unwillingness to listen to

his own conscience. These forces had no direct control over his actions but

simply pointed
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Macbeth then had to

make a decision. He willingly chose to follow the path of death and destruction.

Lady Macbeth simply showed him that path.

It is easy to believe that the witches controlled Macbeth and made him

follow a path of doom. The predictions they give, coupled with their unholy ways

suggest that they are in control of him. They are not. It is admittedly strange

that the weird sisters first address Macbeth with,"All hail, Macbeth! Hail to

thee Thane of Cawdor!"(I, iii, 49), a title which not even Macbeth is aware he

has been awarded. Even stranger is the third witch calling to Macbeth,"All hail,

Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!"(I, iii, 50). Here it may seem as if the

witches are using their supernatural powers to control Macbeth's future. All

they have done is foretold his future. A prophecy is hardly an invitation to

murder. Banquo hears the witches' words and tells Macbeth:

The instruments of darkness tell us truths,

Win us with honest trifles, to betray's

In deepest consequence (I, iii, 124-126)

He is telling Macbeth not to be swayed by the witches even though one of the

prophecies has come true. It is a warning that Macbeth ignores. He is so

enraptured by the prophecies of the witches that he consciously follows a path

of darkness in an effort to fulfil the
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