The Downfall of Macbeth

Who Caused the Hero to Become a Monster

The Evil Woman

When you think of a great hero, you think of someone who would never have darkness in them or do a harmful deed. In the play, Macbeth, the hero, Macbeth, goes from the best hero in the land to a terrible serial killer. The downfall of Macbeth was caused by his wife, Lady Macbeth because she tried to get all of the good out of him, she convinced him to kill Duncan after he had changed his mind about it, and she helped him kill Duncan. When Lady Macbeth hears that Macbeth can be king, she immediately wants to get the throne for him and wants him to return home so she , "'...may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round'..." (Act 1, Scene 5). Macbeth changes his mind about killing Duncan, and decides to not kill him instead. Lady Macbeth confronts him about it and tries to get him to kill Duncan. She accuses him to, "'... live a coward in thine own esteem...'" (Act 1, Scene 7). Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth will not stand for his wife thinking he is a coward. She uses this to manipulate him to going through with killing Duncan. Lady Macbeth then helps Macbeth kill Duncan. She realizes that if they didn't succeed in killing him, "' The attempt, and not the deed, confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready; he could not miss 'em'" (Act 2, Scene 2). If Duncan does not die, Lady Macbeth worries that Duncan will know it was them who tried to kill him. She questions if her part in the murder was done well enough for them not to be caught.

Literary Devices

Dramatic Irony

In the play, Macbeth, the use of dramatic irony is important because it helps us better understand the character, Lady Macbeth. In the play, Lady Macbeth is welcoming King Duncan into her home, and telling him how much she loves him, how honored she is and "'were poor and single business to contend against these honors deep and broad wherewith Your Majesty'", but really she has been planning to murder King Duncan with the help of her husband, Macbeth. This dramatic irony is important for the audience because now the audience knows that her character is devious and how she can not be trusted.


In the play, Macbeth, the use soliloquy is extremely important because in a play, the audience can not hear the characters thoughts, the use of soliloquy lets the audience know what the character is thinking. One of the characters, Macbeth, has decided to kill King Duncan of Scotland. Before he commits the murder, he imagines, "' A dagger of the mind, a false creation'" (Act 2, Scene 1). The use of soliloquy is extremely important in this moment because it lets the audience know what Macbeth is thinking before he commits a terrible murder. Without soliloquy, the audience would have no idea that Macbeth was imagining the murder weapon floating in front of him.

Comic Relief

In the dramatic play, Macbeth, comic relief is important because it provides a change in mood. Comic relief is being used to change the mood of the audience from dark and depressing to fun and relaxed. At the beginning of Act 2, a drunken porter and talks to Macbeth. Macbeth asks him about the negative effects of drinking, the porter responds, "'... I think, being too strong for you, though he took my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him'" (Act 2, Scene 3). This joke about the porter wrestling is important for the audience because Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, had just brutally murdered King Duncan. That scene is very intense, and the use of comic relief provides the audience quick change of mood before the play takes a dark turn.

Connection in History

The play, Macbeth, is like the story of Benedict Arnold because they both are about a wife who convinces her husband to do a terrible thing. During the revolutionary war, Benedict Arnold was a Patriot general, but then turned on the American people and sold the americans out to the British. He did this because his wife convinced him to, for she was a loyalist. This connects to Macbeth because in the play, Macbeth is convinced by his wife to kill Duncan. They are very similar for another reason. Mrs. Arnold convinced her husband to betray his country, much like how Lady Macbeth convinced Macbeth to betray his country by killing the king.

Connection to Movie

The play, Macbeth, shares a connection to the movie, Natural Born Killers, because they are both about a husband and wife who commit murder. In Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth, and his wife, Lady Macbeth, kill the King of Scotland. In the movie, Natural Born Killers, a husband, Mickey, and his wife, Mallory, are parters in several crimes. These are related because they both involve a married couple who commit murder. They are different; however, because in Macbeth, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth only kill one person together, where in Natural Born Killers, Mickey and Mallory kill together several times.