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

To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his own downfall?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework- Sophie Garrod 5MCG To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his own downfall? During this time in British history, there were many violent battles and plots used in everyday life. It was not wrong to barbarically kill someone using extreme methods during a battle. In fact, if the person was an enemy, rewards were entitled. Many people were also greatly affected by the Kings views on certain issues, and no one really had an opinion of their own, and if they ever spoke out against the King, serious punishments would have been applicable. I think that this was one of the reasons Macbeth committed the crimes he did. The surroundings, in which he was in as Thane of Glamis, influenced him greatly and he became bloodthirsty and excessively ambitious, even to the point where he was willing to kill another human being in order to get what he wanted. In my essay, I will begin to explain the people, the circumstances and certain aspects of Macbeth's own personality, which drove him to commit such horrific crimes. In the first scene of the play, the witches are firstly introduced to the reader. The detail of this scene urges the reader's imagination to sense a confusion of the usual human nature. The scene is a reverse of human values, and the readers mind enters a world of darkness and becomes a sinister challenge to ordinary goodness. The last lines of scene one, which the witches announce, "Foul is fair and fair is foul, hover through the fog and filthy air," suggests that there is to be a complete change in someone's life. ...read more.

Middle

This part of the speech shows that as his kinsman and as his host should be more of a protector rather than a traitor. Macbeth's will is weakened by speculation whereas Lady Macbeth's will is strengthened by a concentration of the act of killing Duncan. When Macbeth announces that he cannot go through with the murder, Lady Macbeth explains her plan, her main argument is that her husband needs to prove his manhood by acting decisively. She uses emotional blackmail to convince him that it is the right thing to do "How tender 'tis to love a babe that milks me- I would while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from its boneless gums, And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you, Have done this". This speech provides the reader and the audience with a truly repulsive image, and although it is a very appalling description, it is extremely persuasive. Macbeth is very impressed with her, and I think that at this point he is nearly convinced. He asks her a question after this remarkable speech, "If we should fail?" Lady Macbeth has not even contemplated failure, and in reply, she insults her husband by referring to his courage "But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we'll not fail". At the end of this scene, Macbeth is determined to murder Duncan. Lady Macbeth's emotional blackmail, persuasive language and insulting behaviour eventually convinces her husband to kill another human being. ...read more.

Conclusion

He begins to wonder why no one else can see the ghost. Lady Macbeth becomes anxious of her husbands behaviour at the banquet. This becomes a key moment in the play for the reader and the audience because Macbeth is in a terrible state of mind, and is not composed as a King is supposed to be. This shows his ambition getting the better of him and he is unable to control it. His mind is spiralling out of control and it is all because he wanted to a little bit more successful. When murdering Duncan he had Lady Macbth to reassure him and keep him in a clear and concise state of mind. This time with Banquo, he has no one to turn to and no one to help him. I think this is why he hallucinates and begins to go slightly insane. I think that the most important factors in Macbeths downfall are the extreme ambition which Macbeth's personality contains, and also Lady Macbeth, who persuades him to go through with killing Duncan. I think when he killed Duncan he felt more power and therefore felt as if he could get away with killing someone else. I think he felt extreme capability, and this made him become more ruthless throughout the play. The time in which the play was set, also adds to Macbeths downfall, as it was not unusual to kill someone of a higher status, as at this time, many men and women craved power and respect. ...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. Peer reviewed

    How far are the witches responsible for Macbeth's downfall?

    4 star(s)

    The weird sisters prophecies were not one hundred percent true, and they did not always work out. I think that the prediction given to Banquo that, 'Thou shall get Kings' in Act One Scene Three was never fulfilled or addressed later in the play to show that the prophecies made

  2. To what extent was Lady Macbeth responsible for Macbeths downfall?

    that particular moment in time, then Macbeth would have thought that whatever they had said about murder or evil wasn't anything abnormal. They showed him they have the power of prophecy by showing him the 3 apparitions and predicting his future, which must have made Macbeth feel more at ease

  1. To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his own downfall?

    Before the witches tell Macbeth the future, there is a dramatic irony in the play, because the audience already know that King Duncan made Macbeth 'Thane of Cawdor'. At this point, the audience know far more than the characters do.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    that he does not want to commit this murder, and the audience will see the self-conflict that Macbeth is going through. Here we see another instance of distribution of the ten beats when Lady Macbeth says, "The future is instant."

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    She also is genuinely shocked and overcome, and her strength leaves her. She definitely distracts attention from Macbeth and her line- "Help me hence, ho!" The alliteration on the letter 'h' and the exclamation mark suggest this could be said in a very theatrical way, but she may also start

  2. What was the main cause of Macbeth's downfall?

    to take away her not only her femininity but her humanity also. She is asking to become ruthless where Macbeth isn't. These are traits which the audience would have compared with the witches. Earlier in the scene she says, ''Thus thou must do', if thou have it, and that which

  1. English Macbeth coursework-Is the supernatural wholly responsible for the tragedy that occurs or is ...

    full o' th' milk of human kindness" Lady Macbeth feels responsible for what happens so is plotting and planning for him. "Yet do I fear thy nature" Lady Macbeth reveals her thoughts about witchcraft and the supernatural by calling on evil spirits.

  2. Speech - who is responsible for Macbeth's downfall?

    Slide 3- it can also be argued it is lady Macbeths fault, as she urged her husband to commit murder. She blackmailed and manipulated him. She also questions his love for her and insults him by calling him a coward.

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