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

Due to the nature of Macbeth's downfall it would be difficult to blame a single person for his downfall.

Extracts from this document...


Due to the nature of Macbeth's downfall it would be difficult to blame a single person for his downfall. The main characters that were at fault in Macbeth's downfall were The Witches, Lady Macbeth and of course Macbeth himself but who is to blame the most out of the three? The Witches played a big part in Macbeth's downfall, as they were the first characters who influenced Macbeth as they met him at the start of the story. The Witches were determined from the start to influence Macbeth's way in life, they intended to meet with him from the start to begin the downfall of Macbeth, "There to meet with Macbeth". Before they started putting ideas into his head they had to make sure that he was willing to listen to them so they waited until he was sure of his abilities, so they only started influencing him after the battle against Norway where he shone. As Macbeth would not normally listen to the telling of the Witches, they had to cleverly mix the truth and things that had not happened yet to gain his confidence. They influenced Macbeth's first thoughts of killing Duncan as they first told him that he would be Thane of Cawdor, and he already was but he did not know yet. ...read more.


But when she finds out about King Duncan is coming to stay she straight away decides that this would be the perfect moment for Macbeth to fulfil his predictions. But when she tells Macbeth this he is not as willing to participate as Lady Macbeth is, in fact when she mentions the idea of murder to him he replies by saying "We will speak further". This means he had to think the whole thing over, as he was not sure about the whole ordeal. But when he has considered the murder he replies "We will proceed no further in this business". This angers Lady Macbeth so she puts him in a difficult position to make him reconsider. She does this by questioning his manhood, "When you durst do it then you were a man". She also uses the most powerful imagery to persuade him, "I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me I would while it was smiling in my face have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had I sworn as you have done this". These clever and powerful mind games she plays with Macbeth finally convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Although Lady Macbeth was stronger minded she still was not willing to kill Duncan herself. ...read more.


Hesitancy gives way to an enjoyment of violence. He becomes a tyrant he is obsessed with killing he instructs his soldiers to, "hang those who talk of fear" and he threatens to hang until he starves the servant who brings the news of Birnam wood to Dunsinane hill if he is telling the truth. Macbeth is too ambitious to realise that he will die in the final battle as what the Witches told him has given him a strong belief in his personal abilities. But when he remembers what the Witches said about Birnam wood and it actually comes true he nearly gives up hope especially when his wife kills herself. The one thing that keeps him going is that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth", but when Macduff tells him he "was from his mothers womb untimely ripped", he realises he has no chance of defeating Macduff and he is therefore killed. The Witches played a larger part in the downfall of Macbeth than Lady Macbeth did, but Macbeth's belief in personal abilities puts the greater share of the blame on Macbeth himself. Macbeth's ambition made him blind to the other side of what the Witches had to say. As he was ambitious when things went his way after the telling of the Witches he made himself believe that he was invincible and refused to think of the consequences of the things he did. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth 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 GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. A classical tragedy tells the story of the downfall of a great man.

    The witches were expected to fly. The air they fly through is foggy and "filthy". Undoubtedly an evil atmosphere has been created in the opening scene of this tragic play..Act 1 scene 3 is a crucial scene. This is the scene that sets the plot in motion.

  2. The Witches Are to Blame for Macbeth's downfall

    Lady Macbeth's cunning planes to persuade Macbeth, reveal to the audience how hungry she is for power and how evil she actually is. Even though it was Macbeth who originally thought about murdering Duncan, in his soliloquy, Macbeth wrestles with his conscience and his fears of the consequences of killing Duncan.

  1. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    about their rule one day, some time before the appearance of the witches. "Nor time nor place did the adhere, and yet you would make both." but now "They have made themselves, and that their fitness now Does unmake you."

  2. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    If the person who knows Macbeth better than any other thinks that he is not a real man, then surely, in his own eyes, he cannot be. This is when Lady Macbeth drops the bombshell: "And, to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man."

  1. Who is to blame for Macbeth's downfall?

    Lady Macbeth exerts a lot of power over Macbeth in this part of the play and even calls him a 'coward' and this shows just how determined she is and how much ambition she has for her husband. It is this confidence in herself plus the persuasiveness on her words that makes Macbeth act on her words without hesitating.

  2. macbeths downfall

    The first apparition which Macbeth recieves warns him of Macduff and this I believe is what persuaded him to kill Macduffs wife and child. These apparitions lead to the downfall of Macbeth in a very big way. The third apparition tells Macbeth that he won't be defeated until Burneam wood

  1. What part does Lady Macbeth play in Macbeth's downfall?

    This shows that she is not born evil but is likely to have been made that way by evil spirits just so that she can support her husband. We also know that she herself cannot physically commit the murder because she says that the king reminds her of her own father.

  2. How can blame be apportioned in “Macbeth”?

    Macbeth adds that "Duncan hath born his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office, that his virtues will plead like angels." Lady Macbeth knows her husband and feels that he is "too full o' th' milk of human kindness."

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