Macbeth's Downfall

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                        Macbeths Downfall                        Liza Zhang

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is depicted to be a loyal and honourable hero. However, with three major influences, his character changes throughout the play. These closely connected influences are the prophecies told by the three witches; Macbeths own passion and Lady Macbeth’s dominant influence. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth plays a major influence in Macbeth’s actions and was determined to get what she wanted, in this case, the throne.

In the early chapters of the play, Macbeth’s devilish wife, Lady Macbeth, is depicted as an ambitious wife who could easily manipulate Macbeth, ‘That I may pour my spirits in thine ear’. She manipulates his self esteem using a variety of productive methods, such as questioning his manhood and determination. When Lady Macbeth reviews the letter about Macbeth and the witches’ prophecies, the thought of murder immediately comes to her head, indicating her own determination to kill to get what she wants. But she fears her husband’s good nature quoting he is ‘too full o’ the milk of human kindnesses. This shows Lady Macbeth is determined and lacks humanity. Her lack of humanity is evident when she demonstrates her potential to murder and calls for nature to ‘unsex her here’. She doesn’t want her conscience to exist and calls the spirits ‘to make thick her blood’. When Macbeth changes his mind in the plot to murder Kind Duncan she easily questions him and soon enough he is willing to commit the deed because she goaded him ‘and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.’ In this quote she is questioning Macbeth’s manhood and determination to get the throne. Macbeth does not object to Lady Macbeth’s domination and pushing him into the murders. In the following scenes, Lady Macbeth’s role as opposed to the opening scenes seems more distance as her husband’s cruelty and her own guilt recoil on her, sending her into madness. The end is near for Lady Macbeth when she is torn down by her wicked ambitions. The murder of Kind Duncan has prompter her into madness, as she rubs her hand and shouts ‘out damned spot! Out I say!’ If Lady Macbeth had not been so determined and manipulative, Macbeth would not have been strong enough to carry the motive to kill, which leads to his downfall.

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Ultimately, the prophecy told by the three witches ‘wicked sisters’ was what triggered the other major factors that contributed to Macbeth’s downfall. In the first act, he witches arouse Macbeth’s curiosity by informing him he will be future Thane of Cawdor and eventually King, ‘but how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives, a prosperous gentleman and the Kind stands not within the prospect of belief.’ This shows the prophecies attracted Macbeth and his curiosity aroused. The witches also told Banquo that his descendants will be Kings in the future. Macbeth is curious of this prophecy, perhaps ever more ...

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