Macbeth





Although many people could have caused the downfall of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife, had the most impact in bringing Macbeth to his downfall. Lady Macbeth is the one who convinced Macbeth to first start killing and convincing him that the prophecy about Macbeth becoming king will come true only if he kills the King. Macbeth is believed to be selfish when he does not want to commit the murder so his wife must reassure him she would do anything to help Macbeth rise in power and Macbeth himself should do the same ¨ 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 plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this¨(scene 7 act 1). Lady Macbeth feels that if Macbeth promised to do something he should do so even if the promise is murder, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that if she promised to kill her own child for the sake of Macbeth she would do so with little hesitation to prove her love for her husband. Macbeth feels guilt after murdering King Duncan so Lady Macbeth often reassures him that murder is okay and leads him to killing anyone else that tries to get in his way such as Banquo and Fleance. There is another prophecy that states Banquo and Fleance would become future kings, Macbeth sees this as a threat so Lady Macbeth again convinces him that the two must be murdered. Macbeth then convinced two murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance during a feast hosted by Macbeth. Macbeth easily convinces the two murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance due to Banquo being an enemy to them both “So he is mine, and in such bloody distance that every minute of his being thrusts against my near’st of life; and though i could with barefaced power sweep him from my sight...Banquo, thy soul’s flight, if it find heaven, must find it out tonight” (Act 3, scene 1). The two murderers agree to kill Banquo and his son after Macbeth assures the two murderers that Banquo is doing no good to the world and only bringing bad to the ones that he is enemies with. Lady Macbeth soon goes insane from the murders her husband has committed and the secrets she had to keep. Macbeth by this time is power hungry and only is slightly troubled by the fact that the doctor cannot cure Lady Macbeth due to her illness being mental and not physical. Macbeth feeds off of the power Lady Macbeth gave him in the beginning and stops feeling emotion towards others. Even while his wife is going insane and slowly dying Macbeth keeps using her to feed his power hungry mind and keep fighting towards staying king “She should have died hereafter;...Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player… it is a tale told by an idiot...signifying nothing” (Act 5, Scene 5). When word comes around that Lady Macbeth has died Macbeth does not grieve but only prepares himself for battle. Macbeth is then killed during the battle he thought he was invincible in due to the prophecies and Lady Macbeth in the beginning convincing him that the witches only spoke the truth and he was too powerful to be taken down.

Literarary devices

Imagery

Imagery is a very used thought out device in Macbeth. One important example of imagery being used is when after the King is killed everything begins to turn quite and dark "By the clock 'tis day, and yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp. Is't night's predominance, or the days shame, that darkness does the fact of earth entomb when living light should kiss it?" (Act 2 Scene 4). This helps the reader understand all the strange events and strange occurrences happening. By letting the reader know that there is no longer any light it helps the reader understand the eerie feelings everyone was having.

Irony

A major example of irony is how Lady Macbeth and Macbeth thought that killing the king would only result in riches and power but by the end of the book the killing of the king causes many problems to both Macbeth and his wife "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter" (Act 1 Scene 2). This proves the Macbeths believed Macbeth becoming king would result in riches. Macbeth did receive riches, power, and happiness at first but the killings only resulted in sadness. The murder of the king made Lady Macbeth first leave Macbeth then she died from insanity. Macbeth also had to kill many close friends, only to later be killed himself.

Tragedy

Macduff's family's murder was one of many examples of Tragedy. Although the death of Macduff's caused Macbeth relief it brought pain and sorrow to many important characters. Upon the news of his families passing Macduff is grief stricken "New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows strike heaven on the face, that it resounds as if it felt with Scotland and yelled out..." ( Act 4 Scene 3). This proves that Macduff believed there was nothing good left in his life after the loss of his family. The murders also give Macduff a new goal in life, to get revenge on Macbeth. This new goal leads to Macduff killing Macbeth on the battlefield.

Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth started out very controlling and convincing to her husband Macbeth. Lady Macbeth was the one who convinced Macbeth that murder and treason were not bad if it helped him become king "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"(Act 1 scene 7).Lady Macbeth later becomes haunted by what her and her husband have done resulting in nightmares and sleep walking. Lady Macbeth cannot be healed from her 'disease' and is later killed by it "This disease is beyond my practice. Yet i have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds"(Act 5 scene 1)