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Could Macbeth have risen to greatness? What contributed most to his downfall?

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Introduction

Could Macbeth have risen to greatness? What contributed most to his downfall? This play is a tragedy. In this essay I will discuss what effect the witches, lady Macbeth and Macbeth have on the rise and fall of Macbeth. Macbeth at the beginning of the play is successful warrior in the Scottish army. The king of Scotland, Duncan, hears of Macbeth's bravery and he calls him a 'Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!' (Act 1 scene 2, line 24). This shows that the king of Scotland regards Macbeth very highly and has a great deal of trust and respect for Macbeth. This gives the audience a very good impression of Macbeth although they have yet to have seen him. In act 1 scene 3, the three witches tell Macbeth that he will become thane of Cawdor and eventually be crowned king. Later, in the scene Rosse tell Macbeth that he is now thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is confused and he asks, 'The thane of Cawdor lives; why do you dress me in borrowed robes?' (Line 108). This is very ironic and I feel that it is the first sign of Macbeth's downfall. The original Thane of Cawdor was a traitor to Scotland and he was killed, Macbeth later went on to become a traitor aswell. Also in this scene it is when we see Macbeth's first spark of ambition. ...read more.

Middle

She doesn't want her plans to be ruined. I feel that Act 1 Scene 7 is a very important scene. Lady Macbeth is at her strongest and Macbeth is at his weakest. At the start of the scene, Macbeth doubts whether to go ahead and kill Duncan. Lines 7-8, 'But in these cases, We still have judgement here, that we teach.' This shows how Macbeth was thinking about the consequences of killing Duncan. This is just a glimpse of Macbeth's human side. It shows that he did have a conscience. Lines 25-28 he says no real reason to kill Duncan apart from his ambition. Lady Macbeth then tries to persuade Macbeth into doing the terrible deed. 'Was the hope drunk'. (Line 35) This is very clever of Lady Macbeth, implying that Macbeth is a coward and that he was drunk when dreaming about becoming King. She almost patronises Macbeth in line 59- He has said, 'If we should fail?' and she quickly cuts in 'We fail?' she is almost ridiculing him, she is saying that it is not going to happen. She is eliminating any doubt that may be in Macbeth's mind. At this point in the play Lady Macbeth has had a large amount of influence on Macbeth and many people believe that she was completely to blame for the killing of Duncan. Before the murder, Macbeth sees a vision of a dagger covered in blood with the handle pointing towards him. ...read more.

Conclusion

( line 95) Macbeth believes that he is invincible and afterwards doesn't even try to think of the possibilities of the woods moving, he is so arrogant that he won't even consider that there may be a way. He then sets off to seek revenge on Macduff's family. He gets soldiers to rape and murder his wife and children. In Act 5 scene 5, Lady Macbeth kills herself, Macbeth does not seem to care. 'She should of died hereafter'. ( line 16) He has lost all of his compassion. In the end Macduff kills Macbeth. I think that Lady Macbeth, the witches, and Macbeth are to blame for the downfall of Macbeth. If the witches hadn't of made predictions and suggested that he would become king then Lady Macbeth would never have pushed him in to killing the king. If the witches had not suggested it then he would never of killed Duncan Also I think if his wife hadn't of been so persuasive then he wouldn't of done it. Basically it was fate that he would meet the witches and they would make such accusations and it would just so happen that the king would be coming to stay that night making the perfect opportunity for the killing. The great tragedy of the play is of the kind of man Macbeth could have been and almost was, could have risen to greatness. But it was the fatal mistake of giving in to his ambition that contributed most to his downfall. ...read more.

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