The Downfall of Macbeth
By: Clarissa Kampe
The Toll of Macbeth's Ambitions
“I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven, or to hell.” (Act 2, scene 1) This quote shows symbolism because the bell also symbolizes that it is time to kill King Duncan as well as it is the calling bell sending Duncan to heaven or to hell.
“As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.” (Act 1, scene 2) This quote is an analogy, for it is comparing two things. It is comparing a sparrow to an eagle and a hare to a lion; showing that the animals are enemies. The prey versus the predator; much like King Duncan to Macbeth. Since Macbeth is planning on killing King Duncan.
“Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were a porter of hell gate, he should have old turning the key. Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Belzebub?” (Act 2, scene 3). This quote is comic relief because it is a comical moment in serious part of the play. The quote puts a funny moment in the midst of a very solemn scene. It is right after Macbeth killed King Duncan and Lady Macbeth trying to keep her husband from acting suspicious to the guests in the house. The scene is very grim and this quote offers a bit of relief.
Macbeth’s dream to rule the land was fiercely strong
He killed friends that rose suspicions of him
He wanted to rule the throne for lifelong
Macbeth, the Thane of Cawdor was condemned
Macbeth fell in a downwards spiral to hell
The murders he committed drove him mad
His problems started at the ring of the bell
While Lady Macbeth had grown quite awfully sad
She couldn’t stand the pain so she ended it
Macbeth ended up headless in a dark pit
Song Connection link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r00ikilDxW4
While many songs show how ambitions bankrupt a person's life, the song, 21 Guns, represents Macbeth’s ambition and how they destroyed him. In the song, 21 Guns, Green Day (the band) writes about the selfish decisions people make in life and how choices can bring about self destruction. “When you’re at the end of the road and you lost all sense of control and your thoughts have taken their toll when your mind breaks the spirit of your soul” (Green Day). This part of the song relates to the decisions Macbeth has made and how he feels when he finds out the outcome of them. Macbeth knows he is at the end of the road and the murders he committed are driving him crazy. So the song, 21 Guns, accurately describes the toll Macbeth’s ambitions and their effects on him.