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How Far and in What Ways are the Witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth Responsible for Macbeth's Downfall?

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Introduction

How Far and in What Ways are the Witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth Responsible for Macbeth's Downfall? Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth shows the downfall of a wrongfully crowned king. But his downfall is not solely due to himself. There are other characters in the play that are part of his downfall. If it weren't for them, the play would not work. They are part of a chain, one leading to another. The play would not have ended in the same manner, even if one of these characters hadn't played their part. They all affect each other and Macbeth's tragic end is the outcome. The first set of characters that affect Macbeth and begin the chain are the witches. From the very first scene we can see that they want Macbeth's end to be a tragedy. In the first scene they intend to go, "There to meet Macbeth", which implies that the witches don't just happen to meet him. They want to go and meet him, they organise, plot and scheme to go and meet him. This shows that it is important for the witches to see Macbeth. The Victorians were very superstitious and would believe that witches scheme and plot in malevolence ways. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth is somewhat to blame for making the final decisions, but there is another person who spurs him on and leads to the downfall of Macbeth. This is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth only plays a part in the downfall of Macbeth in the beginning of the play. But the actions she takes herself are from the chain started by the witches. When she found out about what had happened she instantaneously thought about Macbeth's succession to the throne, "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised", she wants to get Macbeth what he is promised. Macbeth finds out her intentions when he returns. Her acrimonious character tells him to murder Duncan and that Duncan is set to arrive tonight to stay in Macbeth's castle. They have a very cogent argument, and Macbeth falls into her trap. She in the next person to speak of murder after Macbeth does to Banquo. She is the driving force behind Macbeth in the murder scenes. She tells him to murder Duncan and organises the plot of his murder. When Macbeth returns after having time to think about it and exclaims, "We will proceed no further in this business", Lady Macbeth replies by calling him a coward and asking, "Art thou afeard". ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth has the least influence. Even though she is major part of the chain reaction leading to the death of Macbeth, she only persuades him to kill Duncan. After this point she seems to be wiped from Macbeth's life and does not affect him again. Up next would be the witches as they start the play and shape Macbeth's actions using declaration to create the right reactions. Then the outcome of the reactions led to his down fall. But in the end I think that Macbeth is the one most greatly responsible for his own downfall. I think that Shakespeare has effectively displayed the events to show that it is ultimately Macbeth's responsibility. I think that this is what Shakespeare was trying to depict in this tragic play. The witches and Lady Macbeth both affect Macbeth and lead him to his end, but at any point in the play, he could stop. He could say no, and the ending would be a whole much more pleasant than how it ends. Ultimately he made his own decisions and the outcome to these decisions led to his death. So I think that although he is predisposed by other characters in the play he is mainly conscientious for his own downfall. ~ 1 ~ ...read more.

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