Downfall of Macbeth

There are many people who contribute to the end of Macbeth, but ultimately, the witches bring his downfall. Throughout the story, it is the witches prophecies that cause Macbeth to kill and lie to become king. He becomes too reliant on the witches to keep him safe and protect his future, but they end up getting him killed. The first time the witches appear, the third witch tells Macbeth that he "...shalt be king hereafter!" (1.2.56-57). The witches tell Macbeth that he will become king. The rest of the prophecy said Macbeth would be thane of Glamis and Cawdor, which had already come true, so Macbeth was certain he would be king. However, instead of waiting to become king, Macbeth's wife convinces him he must kill Duncan, the current king, to make the prophecy come true. So he kills the king, and in his worry to hide his tracks, he kills the king's guards, and Banquo, the other general who was with him when he received the prophecy. Next, the witches make Macbeth believe that he is invincible and will be king until he dies, saying that "...none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth" (4.1.91-92). The witches also tell him that he shall not fall until Birnam Wood comes to his castle, Dunsinane. In saying these things, the witches make Macbeth believe he cannot be killed, since a forest cannot move and all people are born of a woman. The final reason the witches are responsible for the fall of Macbeth is they make him overly confident, which causes him to confront Macduff, even though the witches warned him "Beware Macduff; Beware the Thane of Fife" (4.1.79-81). Despite this warning, Macbeth fights on the battlefield to defend his castle, is confronted by Macduff, and is killed.

Macbeth Character Analysis

Macbeth started out as a loyal and noble lord, but as the story goes on, he becomes crazier and more insane. He starts out only killing Duncan to become king, but then he kills Banquo and Macduff's family. He is being motivated to kill by his wife and the witches prophecies. The witches are telling him he shall be king, and that he will not fall until a Birnam Woods comes to his castle, Dunsinane. At first, he believes he must kill Duncan to make the prophecy come true. However, he doesn't think that this is the right thing to do, killing a good king that he is loyal to. His wife, Lady Macbeth, insults him for not being able to go through with the plan, and says he will " a coward in thine own esteem, Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would," Like the poor car i' the adage?" (1.7.48-50). She says if he doesn't kill Duncan he will always be a coward, and compares him to a cat that wouldn't catch fish because it didn't want to get it's feet wet. When Macbeth receives the first set of prophecies, Banquo is also told that his sons will be kings. Macbeth, fearing for his future as king, and also knowing Banquo could show everyone he killed Duncan, Macbeth plans to have Banquo killed. "It is concluded, Banquo, thy soul's flight, If it find heaven, must find it out tonight" (3.1.57-58). Macbeth has just spoken to the murderers about killing Banquo and his son, Fleance. However, when the murderers ambush them, they only kill Banquo and Fleance escapes. And finally, the witches tell Macbeth to beware of Macduff. Macbeth is furious that he let Macduff escape to England, and decides to kill his family. He plans to "...give to the edge o' the sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line" (4.1.174-176). He plans to kill Macduff's family since he has fled to England and Macbeth knows he is planning against him. Macbeth hires more murderers to kill Macduff's family as punishment for fleeing Scotland. Macbeth had potential to be a better king, had he not killed everyone he thought of as a threat, or he even could have been a better person, by not killing anyone. But his wife and the witches deceive him into killing those he once called friends.

Movie Connection

The Lion King is very similar to Macbeth. Scar and Macbeth are very similar, and Macduff is similar to Simba. In the beginning of each story, there is a king, and someone plotting to kill them. In Macbeth, Macbeth is convinced he will be king and he has to kill the current king, Duncan. In The Lion King, Mufasa, the king, is killed by Scar, his jealous younger brother. After the kings are dead, the killers in each story turn out to be bad rulers, and mean to their people. Both of the antagonists are only trying to help themselves, and are acting on their greed, not what is right. In the end, the king, Scar or Macbeth, fights the one who is trying to restore order to the kingdom, which would be Simba or Macduff, and the kings die. The rightful ruler then takes over, and restores the kingdom to what it once was.

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