All About Macbeth

By Mollie Halseth

Who Is Responsible For The Downfall Of Macbeth?

Macbeth himself is to blame for his downfall, his obsession with power led him to his own self destruction. After the witches tell Macbeth about their prophecy he says, "'My thought, whose murder you is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is but what is not'" (Macbeth 1.3.52-55). The fact that Macbeth's first thought is to kill King Duncan draws suspicion to his character. The witches had not said anything yet about how he should kill Duncan to be king, and that being his initial thought causes the reader to question Macbeth's ambition. This also proves that Macbeth will do anything for the throne. This is the beginning of the end for Macbeth. Based on the quote the reader can automatically tell that Macbeth's motives were changing and he is soon going to head down a dreadful path. Macbeth continues to develop many dark desires to obtain power "'The prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies...'" (Macbeth 1.4.55-60). Shortly after Duncan pronounced his son, Malcom, the prince of Cumberland Macbeth was already trying to think of a way to get rid of him. Basically Macbeth is beginning to develop many deep, dark desires. Macbeth is also beginning to let the idea of fate control his life. That idea will sooner than later lead Macbeth on to make terrible decisions forcing him into self destruction. Speaking for myself, I think that the way Macbeth is going about trying to gain power is absolutely horrible, in the real world is it right to kill for what you want? No. Do people still do it? Yes, and it's wrong. Towards this point of the play the reader can begin to realize that Macbeth's head was definitely in the wrong place. Macbeth tends to realize many times in the beginning of the play that what he is doing is beyond wrong "'I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'er leaps itself And falls on the other'" (1.7.25-28). When Macbeth is being honest with himself he openly admits he has no right or good reason to kill Duncan because Duncan is a great king. He has also always been a great king to Macbeth, which causes even more doubts to go through with the murder for Macbeth. Macbeth just has a strong hunger to be King that is blurring his vision between right and wrong. After reading this line I came to the realization that Macbeth may have a few good morals, but they are overpowered by his strong want to be king.

Literary Devices Seen In Macbeth

Many literary devices are seen throughout Macbeth, one of them being imagery. Spoken by Lady Macbeth, "The Raven himself is hoarse The croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan" (Macbeth 1.5.1). The word choice of Raven is appropriately used because Ravens have been known to be the bird of death. They're also known to clean those who have been executed. With Duncan going to his death, this creates a picture in the readers mind of the death of Duncan and what it was like. The word hoarse can explain the sounds the raven may have been making, which would've been unpleasant to the ear. Lady Macbeth says this while she is asking the spirits of evil to fill her with the evil necessary to be able to kill Duncan and help Macbeth gain what the witches promised him. In addition to imagery, symbolism is also used in Macbeth. Macbeth is second guessing his plan to murder Duncan already and is paranoid after doing so. When Macbeth murders Duncan he is convinced he hears a voice say, "'Macbeth does murder sleep'" (Macbeth 2.2.34). Sleep in this case symbolizes innocence, and in killing Duncan, Macbeth certainly does murder sleep. This shows the reader how Macbeth's character is changing and that he is willing to kill to be King. Also, there is a lot of verbal irony seen Macbeth. One of the main uses of it occur when Macbeth invites Banquo to the supper, knowing he will not be there anyway; "'Tonight we hold a solemn supper sir, And I request your presence'" (Macbeth 2.1.13-14). The reader soon discovers that Banquo never makes it to the supper because he has been brutally murdered by hired assassins under the order of Macbeth. Macbeth, out of fear, hired people to kill Banquo because he thought Banquo could tie him back to the murder of Duncan. The readers can tell that Macbeth is consumed with more evil than good at this point, and is not afraid to kill to cover himself up. This device is being used to show how paranoid Macbeth is about Banquo finding out he is responsible, that he is willing to kill.

Song Relating To Macbeth

The song "I Want It All" by Queen resembles Macbeth's character the most because the song is all about having ambition and a drive to get things done. If you happen to listen to the song the lyrics go, "I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now". These lyrics relate to Macbeth because ever since the witches told him of the prophecy all he wanted was power, and lots of it. Throughout the play readers will notice that Macbeths desire for power consumes him, for he wants it all, and now. Macbeth is thinking about how he wants to be king "Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires" (Macbeth 1.7.27-28). This refers to how Macbeth wants power and will do anything to get it. Also, this relates to the song lyrics because it shows how Macbeth wants to be king, and he is not patient in getting there.
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The Lion King And Macbeth?

In The Lion King the lion Scar best resembles Macbeth. Macbeth relates to Scar because Duncan's death is planned after Macbeth is told of the witches prophecy that he can be king. After Duncan is murdered his sons flee the area out of fear, like in The Lion King. In The Lion King Scar wants to get rid of Mufasa for the same reasons that Macbeth wanted to get rid of Duncan. In the end Macduff has a stand off with Macbeth seeking revenge for the murders of his wife and son. In The Lion King, Simba comes back to fight Scar. Scar underestimates Simba's ability, just like Macbeth underestimated Macduff. The two also have many of the same struggles, one being the battle between good and evil. In Macbeth, the fights Macbeth faces against evil show this issue. In The Lion King the fight between Scar and the evil he has done also shows this theme. Another way both are similar is the fact that in both their characters change from good to sinful over the course of the story. To sum it up, immoral plots are found in both Macbeth and The Lion King. Scar plans to kill Mufasa and take the throne just as Macbeth plans to kill Duncan and others to get to the throne, this is what fuels the battle between good and evil.

The Lion King (Trailer)