The Scottish Play

By Hayzel Rai

Macbeth's downfall orchestrated by the Witches and his wife

Macbeth's downfall is orchestrated by a sense of over-confidence and unchecked ambition, the impact of the witch's prophecy, and his wife's manipulation all four seal Macbeth's fate and his destruction. At the start of the play, Macbeth is a loyal servant of the King of Scotland, but he is a man who harbors a hidden ambition for power. He is both noble and brave in his defense of the King in battle, he is rewarded for his actions. Macbeth has an encounter with a trio of witches and his life is changed. Following his encounter he writes a letter to his wife who uses the prophecy to manipulate Macbeth

To quote Macbeth, showing his mental deterioration

"First Witch: All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis

Second Witch: All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee of Cawdor

Third Witch: All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!....

Macbeth: Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more! By Sinel's death I know I am thane of Glamis, But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and to be King Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence You owe this strange intelligence, or why Upon this blasted heath you stop our way With such prophetic greeting...

Banquo: You shall be king" (Shakespeare Macbeth Act 1 Scene 3 Page 19-20)

This scene depicts Macbeth getting his prophecy that drove him to become so ambitious and passionate about becoming king that he would succumb to slaughter to fulfill it. Another quote shows Lady Macbeth using his manliness as her leverage to manipulating him to killing the king,

"What beast was't then That made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man And, to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place Did then adhere, and yet you would make both: They have made themselves, and that their fitness now Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you Have done to this."

Song Connection- Fur Elise

I chose the song Fur Elise by Mozart because it represents what I believe to be Lady Macbeth's character development. From calm, elegant, and concise to frantic, loud, and angry. Lady Macbeth played a key role in Macbeth's downfall. She uses the witch's prophecy to manipulate her husband into killing the king, while doing so she remains calm and concise. However, as the play progressed Lady Macbeth became overwhelmed and frantic. She was sleepwalking and their actions only continued to hurt her psyche up until she ended her own life. Her manipulation and actions along with the witch's prophecy brought upon Macbeth's downfall.
Für Elise (Piano version)

Literature Connection- Medea myths

I chose the Greek myths related to Medea as my literature connection because she reminds me so clearly of Lady Macbeth. From manipulating their husbands' to killing others they have a lot in common. Lady Macbeth makes her first appearance late in scene five of the first act, when she learns in a letter from her husband that three witches have prophesied his future as King. When King Duncan becomes her overnight guest, Lady Macbeth seizes the opportunity to effect his murder. Aware her husband's temperament is "too full o' the milk of human kindness" for committing a regicide, she plots the details of the murder; then, countering her husband's arguments and reminding him that he first broached the matter, she belittles his courage and manhood, finally winning him to her designs.

Medea in Greek mythology; Medea of Colchis, the queen of vengeance and wife of Jason, murdered her own brother as she fled with Jason the golden fleece. She also tricked king Pelias' daughters into murdering their own father. AND poisoned Creusa, daughter of Creon who was promised to Jason. Finally, in the ultimate act of evil, slaughtered her own two children.