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

English Literature Essay: To what extent was Macbeth the agent of his own demise

Extracts from this document...


English Literature Essay: To what extent was Macbeth the agent of his own demise? In Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth', the main character Macbeth, once known as a respected soldier and Thaine of two Scottish regions, turns into a dishonest and untrustworthy murderer. Macbeth gets caught in a web of lies and many murders, which brings about his own demise. However, his great ambition and gullibility of the witches' predictions are two of the biggest influences to his downfall. It can also be considered that Lady Macbeth was the biggest influence in the whole tragedy. Macbeth is portrayed in the play as a courageous leader and a skilful soldier, who was a hero to his king and his country. However this soon changes as during the play Macbeth is greatly empowered by the evil witches. 'All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter!' The witches lead Macbeth to believe that he could be king over all of Scotland, which causes him to instantly begin thinking of regicide 'whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, And make my seated heart knock at my ribs.' ...read more.


On the other hand Macbeth and the witches were not the only influences in this great tragedy. There is a lot of focus placed on Lady Macbeth and this helps to convey the struggle for power and control that is present throughout the entire play. Lady Macbeth is presented as a dominating, authorative woman who thrives on the power she holds over her husband. Lady Macbeth persuades her husband to kill the king as she suggests to Macbeth that 'When you durst do it, then you were a man.' This makes Macbeth feel offended and unmanly, and so by Lady Macbeth manipulating and cursing her husband, he carries out the awful act. The reason for Lady Macbeth to manipulate and influence her husband in this way, was not so that Macbeth himself could become king, but so that she could have the power and control of being queen that she had always desired. Although due to Lady Macbeth getting involved in the whole dispute, she starts to feel guilty and begins to believe 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy, than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.' ...read more.


However he begins his own demise as he is filled with depression and regrets, especially over the death of his wife who died after a battle with insanity. To end the tragedy Macbeth is killed by Macduff, a man not of woman born but one delivered by cesarean section like the witches had shown with the second apparition - 'The power of man, for none of woman born, shall harm Macbeth.' From this it becomes clear to the audience that, Macbeth's ambition is vandalized and he is portrayed as a dead butcher as he killed so many people, to achieve the status he had hoped for, but never quite got. Macbeth caused his own death; he brought everything upon himself and deserved a lot of what he received. He could blame his wife or the witches for his death, but that would not be able to justify much, because he did not have to listen to any of them as he could have easily made his own decisions and choices, but greed and desire came over him and he ended up with nothing. ...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. In this essay

    They never use the word "MURDER" because all the way through this scene, they are afraid to get caught and they don't use the word as that they won't have to face what they have done.

  2. The extent to which the supernatural contributes to Macbeth’s tragedy

    Despite the face he asks he doesn't get an adequate answer. They say, 'speak, demand, we'll answer' yet they don't. They use apparitions to mess with his mind and confuse him, creating powerful images so that he cannot argue with what they are predicting.

  1. Macbeth Essay Exam

    And quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee! Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold; Thou hast no speculation in those eyes which thou dost glare with." (III, iv, 45) He does not let this get in his way which shows his ambition.

  2. Who is most responsible for the death of King Duncan and how would you ...

    Over the next few scenes in the play, he held much consideration on what he could - and should, do. When King Duncan is staying at their castle, (a perfect opportunity to murder the him) Lady Macbeth asked him why he had left the chamber.

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