By: Mackenzie Zismer

Who is to blame for Macbeth's downfall?

There can be blamed placed on many; such as the 3 witches, lady Macbeth, and Macduff. Yet the true blame falls upon Macbeth, or Macbeth's own ambition. Macbeth is the result of his own downfall or end. He didn't have to kill Duncan, or hire people to kill his friends and their families. But, he chose to do these things.

"Two truths are told

As happy prologues to the swelling act....

This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill; cannot be good. If ill,

Why hath it given me earnest of success,

Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.

If good, why do I yield to that suggestion

Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair

And make me seated heart knock at my ribs

Against the use of nature? Present fears

Are less than horrible imaginings.

My thought, whose murdered yet is but fantastical....

If chance will have me King, why,

chance may crown me,

Without my stir" ( Shakespeare 23 & 25).

The idea of murdering the King appeared in the mind of Macbeth, he thought up those thoughts. He considered murder of the King just to insure that he would be king. Macbeth says that if he didn't help his cause, of being king, along, then what chance does he have of being king.

Macbeth doesn't want to pursue in these thoughts, at least not without backup. Some may say she was the cause of his demise, but they're wrong he put thoughts of murder in her head. No one put them in his, except himself.

Lady Macbeth admits to making a monster out of honorable man, and yet the honorable man was already a monster. All she did was give the monster a push.

"Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valor

As thou esteem's the ornament of life,

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting 'I dare not' wait upon "I would,"

Like the poor cat i' the adage?" (Shakespeare 43).

Lady Macbeth challenges Macbeth by calling him a coward. She starts using these harsh phrases as motivators to help Macbeth build up courage to kill Duncan.

Before she started saying such things, Macbeth was still unsure on wether or not to kill Duncan. She gave Macbeth the push he needed to murder Duncan. She wasn't the cause of his end though. He was on the edge of the cliff and she pushed him. He is now forever gone.

The final thing responsible for Macbeth's downfall was himself. In the final scene Macduff kills Macbeth, his downfall. Macduff didn't have to end up killing Macbeth, yet Macbeth was beyond the help he needed to return from the place he has been. Macduff may have been the person to end Macbeth's life, yet Macbeth is the reason Macduff had to kill him. Therefore Macbeth is responsible of his own demise.

"I wil not yield,

To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet

And to be baited with the rabble's curse.

Through Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane,

And thou opposed, being of no woman born,

Yet I will try the last. Before my body

I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,

And damned be him that first cries 'Hold, enough!'

[Enter Macduff, with Macbeth's head] " (Shakespeare 181 & 183).

Macbeth went to a dark place in his life, one which he could not return from. So, when a dire situation presented itself many men took action; they took action to kill Macbeth. Macbeth was soon killed, and it was all because of his actions.

The play Macbeth was hard to understand, yet it was a master piece non the less. Macbeth was such a good person in the beginning, he had a wonderful life, and needed nothing more. Where as Lady Macbeth needed more of everything. They opportunity provided was a mere thing of seer luck. Yet, they both took this into their hands, and seized it. Lady Macbeth thought she was in control of everything that Macbeth did; sadly though she was mistaken. Lady Macbeth simply helped Macbeth in his journey to his end. No one could control anyone in this play. It was all a harsh reminder of what power can do to a person; corrupt absolutely.

The man in the picture is in fancy clothes, so he must be rich, argo he has power. His shadow attacks himself, he's beaten not by anyone else, but himself.

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Literary Devices

Tragic Hero- Literary Character who makes an error in judgement ultimately leading to their destruction or demise

Macbeth started out in the play a war hero, saving the land for a traitor. A great man beloved by all; then, Macbeth gets hit with a prophecy. This prophecy says that he's to have much power, he is to be king. Slowly the prophecy becomes true piece by piece.

"No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive

Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death

And with his former title greet Macbeth" (Shakespeare 13).

Not long after Macbeth makes a choice, one that will ultimately lead to his demise; he will kill Duncan.

"I am settled and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show;

False face must hide what the false heart doth know" (Shakespeare 45).

This shows the reader what can happen to a person when they stray from the path of a true heart, and break into the path of a false one.

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Verbal Irony- When a character says something but the opposite is meant

In the story after Macbeth has become king there is a banquet held, lone in which all the high lords and thanes... are invited to, including Banquo. Though, right before the banquet Macbeth hires a man to murder his best friend, Banquo. He fears Banquo knows too much on who really killed Duncan. At the banquet he says allowed,

"Here had we now out country's honor, roofed,

Were the graced person of our Banquo present;

Who may I rather challenge for unkindness

Than pity for mischance!" (Shakespeare 99).

There are many ironic things to what he says in this situation.

1. Macbeth says that he hopes that Banquo is just being rude and was not in any sort of accident, when in fact he was in some trouble. Trouble in which Macbeth caused, yet only this is known to the murder and Macbeth.


2. Macbeth says that the only person not present is Banquo, yet right after he says this he sees Banquo's ghost appear. Banquo did show up, he was there.

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Themes- A recurring idea or thought in a book- Nothing is what it appears to be.

In the book, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth put on a fake act when they prepare to kill the king. They know that everyone around them mustn't know what they are thinking and planning.

"False face must hide what the false heart doth know....

Woe, alas!

What in our house" (Shakespeare 45 & 67).

In the first line Macbeth says they must hide their true intentions by being false. In the second line Lady Macbeth seems completely astonished when she 'finds' out that the King is dead.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth act their way through their lies, and hide their true knowledge of what is and what isn't.

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Song Connection- Crash and Burn by Thomas Rhett

Downfall of Macbeth- "I know you could probably tell me right where I went wrong." 1:17- 1: 20 (Thomas Rhett Crash and Burn).

Macbeth was the only person to truly blame for his own downfall. He is the one who totally went wrong, and to the reader it is very clear where. Macbeth went wrong when he started listening to the prophecies. I said earlier that the reason for Macbeth's downfall was himself, and these lyrics flat out state how the only person to blame is himself.

Characteristics of a main character- "Guess I've turned myself into a solitary man.... some guys can't have all the luck" 1:20 - 1:31(Thomas Rhett Crash and Burn). Macbeth became a solitary man after all the deeds he preformed. He considered himself to be luckier than most with prophecy he had. These two parts of the song were a great representation of how Macbeth was and acted. Just like it says in the lyrics he's solitary and luckier than most.

Thomas Rhett - Crash and Burn (Lyric Version)

Piece of Art

Macbeth's downfall was because he went for ultimate power and failed in the process. In the picture the closer Macbeth gets to ultimate power, the closer he gets to his doom. Macbeth will eventually fall in the process of his search for ultimate power. Macbeth was his own demise, his ambition got the best of him, and he couldn't handle it. The ultimate power corrupted him absolutely.

"To be thus is nothing,

But to be safely thus....

Rather than so, come, Fate, into the list,

And champion me to the utterance!" (Shakespeare 81).

Macbeth says that if he is King than it is worthless unless his position is safe. He says he will challenge fate to destroy Banquo and his heirs, all this to keep his position as King safe. All to keep his power.

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