• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Downfall of Macbeth

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Downfall of Macbeth The tragedies of William Shakespeare often include a tragic hero. A tragic hero is not necessarily evil; he is simply human, with human flaws. Often, there are factors which lead to his downfall. Macbeth is a play that shows the downfall of a noble man who becomes a violent killer. The three factors that contribute to Macbeth's downfall are the prophecies which were told by the witches, the influence of Macbeth's wife, and Macbeth's own ambition. The prophecies that are told by the witches are one of the factors that cause the degeneration of Macbeth. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be the Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and the King of Scotland, Macbeth would not have changed. Macbeth does not consider killing King Duncan before hearing the prophecies. Even after the first of the witches' predictions comes true, Macbeth does not plot against the king. Instead, he decides to leave it to chance, even though he considers murder later on. This is proven in Act I, scene iii of the play, after King Duncan plans to elevate Macbeth to Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth says, "(Aside) If chance will have me king,/ why, chance may crown me,/ Without my stir."(I, iii, 142-144) ...read more.

Middle

Her ambition is ignited and she thinks that they can kill the king and make the prophecy an actuality. Lady Macbeth's convincing thoughts are revealed in Act I, scene v, when she says: Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promis'd. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it; what thou wouldst highly, That thou wouldst holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win; thou'dst have, great Glamis, That which cries, 'Thus thou must do, if thou have it;' And that which rather thou dost fear to do Than wishest should be undone. (I, v, 14-24) Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth that he has to do the wrong thing to get what he wants, even though she knows he does not want to commit crimes. She wants the best for her husband but she does not realize that he will get the worst in the end. After Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to kill King Duncan, he later regrets his wrongdoings. At this point in the play, the audience can note the change in Macbeth's character. Macbeth's first murder is a tortured experience for him, however, after the first murder, killing seems to be the only solution to maintain his reign over the people of Scotland. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth's over confident attitude gets him killed along with the one person he loved, his wife. If it was not for Macbeth's strong will and passion, he would not have been strong enough to carry out the plan to kill King Duncan, which ultimately leads to his destruction. Shakespeare's Macbeth demonstrates the transition of a person of nobility and respect into a cruel murderer. The witches' prophecies, Lady Macbeth's influence, and Macbeth's own ambition all contribute greatly to the deterioration of his character, which results in his downfall. Macbeth realizes that he has lost everything when he says: To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. (V, v, 19-27) This is when Macbeth understands that much of his life is based on "fair is foul and foul is fair"(I, I, 11), which means that evil can triumph over good. He disguises his whole life, the evil that he causes, his insanity, his wife's mental condition, and the fact that he murders people and destroys lives, just to guarantee a seat on the throne and play King of Scotland, which ultimately causes his death. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Composition section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Composition essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    1984, V for vendetta

    3 star(s)

    The enormous telescreen in every citizen's room reports a continual stream of propaganda. The telescreen blasts the country's shortcomings and failures and makes them appear as triumphant successes that the Party accomplished. While Winston is at the cafeteria, the telescreen announces that there would be no reduction of chocolate; however,

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents and uses revenge in Hamlet

    "Is the great love the general gender bear him". He has to die in a duel and have a respectable death. Fencing was seen to be a very prestigious sport so it would be an ideal opportunity. Claudius must now make Laertes take revenge on Hamlet as his plot to have Hamlet killed in England has failed.

  1. How does Bronte present Hopes and Fears in Chapters 1-9 of Jane Eyre? ...

    Bronte wants us to have a connection with Jane even though we are in different centuries. This is one of Bronte's devices to make us think that all the characters are real. She also does this by showing hopes and fears in Jane's life.

  2. Samantha was seated on a chair reading her prized book.

    Moreover, she wanted to seize the opportunity to go and look for the book around England's most important libraries. She was seated at a corner, next to her there was an old woman and she could also see couple sitting just in front of her.

  1. Encountering conflict can bring out the best and the worst in people. Discuss

    The audience is full of admiration when Corey confronts the autocratic leaders, Danforth, Hawthorn and Parris, and demands his wife be released. Yet it is the exchange between Elizabeth and John Proctor which confirms his bravery; instead of admitting to "his indictment", and thus forfeiting his property to the likes of Thomas Putnam, he died an honourable death.

  2. The lady with a pet dog

    can be in less favorable and good shape and we may have seen the affair as dirty. Both authors want us to determine whose side we are going to be on and make a conclusion by ourselves. The "Lady with the Dog" is a very unique fiction story originally written by Anton Chekhov, a Russian writer born 1860.

  1. What techniques has Shakespeare used to make Act 3 Scene 1 so dramatic

    "Tybalt you rat catcher, will you walk?" Asks Mercutio, the audience would now be expecting a fight, but when it doesn't immediately happen, they wait with anticipation for the next dramatic part. This scene becomes tenser when Romeo walks onto the stage, but when Tybalt tries to fight him Romeo is unwilling.

  2. Independence Birth or Death of Scotland?

    If Scotland chose to stay with the pound, they would be the subject to the decisions made about interest rates made by banks in England. Any changes or alterations made to the present regime would be made to suit the UK Government and not in independent Scotland.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work