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How Far Is Macbeth Responsible For His Own Fate?

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???????????????????????????????????????????????? The eponym of William Shakespeare's great tragedy "Macbeth", undergoes some dramatic characteristic changes throughout the extent of the tragedy. By the time the play has reached its stirring climax, Macbeth is dead; his fate sealed and himself sent to a premature grave. Who or what is responsible for Macbeth's ultimate demise is a matter of debate. Macbeth was most likely written in 1606, early in the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare's acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote under James's reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's close relationship with the King. In focusing on Macbeth, a figure from Scottish history, Shakespeare was recognizing his king's Scottish heritage. In a larger sense, the theme of good versus bad kingship, embodied in Macbeth and Duncan, respectively, would have resonated at the royal court, where James was busy developing his English version of the theory of divine right. In Shakespeare's time, witches and other paranormal beings were considered terrifying. The majority of Britons would therefore, have found Macbeth utterly shocking and scary. The masses would probably have considered the witches responsible for all of the havoc, chaos, and mayhem caused throughout the play. The despicable acts of Macbeth and his wife could almost have been considered gallant by the audience in comparison to their fear of witchcraft. ...read more.


The three witches predict what he is going to ask and produce the first apparition, which is an armed head. "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware of Macduff; beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me: enough." This first apparition, quite obviously tells Macbeth to watch out for Macduff. The second apparition then appears (a child swathed with blood), who says "Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth." This apparition informs Macbeth that no man who is born of a woman will ever hurt him. The third apparition (a crowned child carrying a tree) then appears, informing Macbeth "Be lion melted, proud, and take no care who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are: Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him." The 'wise' words of these three old hags struck a deep chord within Macbeth. For any man, learning that he will never be killed by any man born of a woman would be a pleasant thing to hear, but for Macbeth, an already ruthless character, this would mean he considered himself to be totally immortal, almost godlike. This belief that he was superhuman clearly led to his downfall. Overall, this means that the witches did play a large part in altering Macbeth's fate. Macbeth is a very exciting story containing all kinds of plots and murders. ...read more.


All of the problems start when he murders Duncan. He commits the murder because of his fatal flaw, he is too ambitious. If he were not so ambitious and determined to be king, then he would never have killed Duncan and if Macbeth did not kill Duncan, most probably none of the other characters would die. Macbeth deserved his fate more than any of the other characters in the play. He did many thing wrong. First, he killed Duncan, albeit under the instruction of his wife. After that, he killed Macduff's wife and child. Next, he ordered the murder of his former best friend, Banquo. In addition, worst of all, Macbeth disturbed the balance of nature. Also, Macbeth did not feel any remorse for his actions, until he was faced with death. If Macbeth just waited for his time, he would have been King, and have had a chance to enjoy his reign. Macbeth destroyed the natural balance, and the harmony of nature. And so, to conclude, there are several relevant factors which affect Macbeth's responsibility for his own fate. Just a couple of these are the witches, and his wife Lady Macbeth. Also his headstrongness is part of his downfall. Henceforth, in some ways, he is responsible for his actions, and therefore his fate. However, in some ways (such as his wife's devilish and somewhat deranged obsession with regicide, and the witches' evil nature and their prophecies), the former Thane of Glamis cannot be held responsible. ?? ?? ?? ?? Luke Charman 11TA - Candidate 7074 - Centre 17243 03/05/2007 06:40:52 ...read more.

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