Macbeth Responsible For Own Downfall Essay Research

Macbeth Responsible For Own Downfall Essay, Research Paper


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By: Jim Snoxall

In the play ?Macbeth? by William Shakespeare, the character Macbeth is highly respected at first but then because of his own actions falls from grace and is killed. His life turns from glory to become meaningless. Macbeth is responsible for his own downfall because he lets ambition, fear, ignorance, and anger control him and his actions.

Macbeth?s ambition causes him to kill the present king and his good friend Duncan. When the witches gave the prophecies Macbeth gave a start, this start shows Macbeth?s guilt. He had been thinking about committing the murder even before the witches told Macbeth their prophecies. When Macbeth hears that Malcolm has become the new prince of Cumberland Macbeth says,

The prince of Cumberland! – That is a step I must overleap, for in my way it lies.?

This statement proves Macbeth has ambitions to become the new king, and that he is the instigator in the murder of Duncan. Another reason of how ambition causes Macbeth to fall is because all of his attention and focus was everywhere else except for towards his wife. Because her husband totally ignores her, Lady Macbeth kills herself and leaves Macbeth alone to worry about the upcoming war. Since Macbeth killed Duncan, and also his own wife in a manner of speaking, it can be seen that he let ambition control him.

Fear causes Macbeth to order the deaths of Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth is afraid that Banquo may suspect him of being Duncans? murderer. Since Macbeth is afraid to lose his crown, he orders the death of Banquo, to make sure that Banquo does nothing to take his well-earned title from him. Macbeth is also afraid that the witches prophecy to Banquo may come true as well. This prophecy that the witches give Banquo is this; ?Thou shalt get kings.? He needs to keep the crown and he is afraid to lose it, so he orders the death of Fleance as well. Fear controlled Macbeth when he ordered the deaths of Banquo and Fleance.

Macbeth downfall is also because of his ignorance. He refuses to look deeper into the witch?s prophecies, and takes them only at face value. Macbeth thinks that he is invincible and that nothing and nobody can bring him down. Macbeth believed that if just because he could and did become king that he would be a good one, but obviously he was dead wrong.

Macbeth?s last great crime is done out of pure anger. Macbeth is out raged that MacDuff has fled from Scotland to England. Macbeth wanted to keep MacDuff in Scotland so that he could keep an eye on him and to make sure he was not making any trouble. However, since MacDuff ran away, Macbeth was so angry that he orders the death of MacDuff?s entire household. Including his wife and his children. Anger controlled Macbeth fully when he decided to kill all of MacDuff?s family and household.

Macbeth is responsible for his own downfall. He followed his ambition to kill Duncan. He let fear and anger control him and his actions when ordering the deaths of Banquo, Fleance, and MacDuff?s entire household. And let ignorance lead him into a false sense of security. Only Macbeth and no one else is responsible for his own downfall from king to death.


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