Macbeth's Downfall

Brooke Trivers

Lady Macbeth is to Blame for Macbeth's Downfall

Many have argued over who or what is to blame for Macbeth's downfall. Personally I believe that it was Lady Macbeth's fault for his downfall. After all, she was the one who convinced him to follow through with killing Duncan. In the play, Macbeth, the character Lady Macbeth says, "This night's great business into my dispatch.... only look up clear. To alter favor ever is to fear. Leave the rest to me" (Shakespeare Act 1, Scene 5). This particular scene in the play makes it clear that the "mastermind" behind Duncan's murder was Lady Macbeth all along, as she was the one telling Macbeth what to while she did the rest. Another quote that shows Lady Macbeth was responsible for Macbeth's downfall is, "Was the hope drunk Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valor As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem’st 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 Act 1, Scene 7). In my opinion, this scene in the play, Macbeth, obviously shows that the "mastermind" behind Duncan's murder was clearly Lady Macbeth. At first, Macbeth did want to become king and kill Duncan. he second guessed himself, and didn't want to follow through with the plan. But, Lady Macbeth, wanting her way, starts name calling and insults him which makes Macbeth want to prove her wrong, and therefore, making him want to follow through with the plan. Which in my opinion, just shows Macbeth didn't really want to kill him and get all the glory, Lady Macbeth just wanted to have all the power by killing. So, Lady Macbeth basically forced Macbeth into killing Duncan. Finally, Macbeth came to Lady Macbeth bringing the news that Duncan would be visiting that night, and Lady Macbeth asks when he will be leaving, and Macbeth responds with, "Tomorrow, as he purposes" (Shakespeare Act 1; Scene 5). Then, Lady Macbeth goes on saying how Duncan wont see the light of day again, which means, in my opinion, Macbeth had no clue they were planning to murder Duncan until Lady Macbeth introduced the idea/plan to him, which obviously shows that Lady Macbeth was responsible for Macbeth's downfall.
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Verbal Irony

After Duncan's' death, everyone else is alarmed to find the guards dead too. Macbeth admits to killing the guards "out of rage" and says, "Who can be wise, amazed, temp'rate, and furious, Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man. The expedition of my violent love for Duncan..." (Shakespeare Act 2, Scene 3). This is an example of verbal irony because Macbeth was the one saying he killed the guards out of rage & love for the king, and he was saying only a heartless man could've killed the king, when he was the one who killed Duncan and the guards. This shows that Macbeth does start becoming more of a heartless person and a murder as the book goes along.
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Reading a letter Macbeth sends her, Lady Macbeth reads, "'They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfect'st report they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives from the king, who all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor,' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time with 'Hail, king that shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell'" (Shakespeare Act 1, Scene 5). This letter shows foreshadowing because the witches are telling Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and eventually a king. Which, later in the book, Macbeth does become king. This shows that Lady Macbeth is getting the idea of getting more power for her and her husband.
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After Duncan's murder, Macduff shouts, "'Awake, awake! Ring the alarum bell. Murder and treason! Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! Awake! Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit, And look on death itself! Up, up, and see The great doom’s image! Malcolm! Banquo! As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites, To countenance this horror! Ring the bell'" (Shakespeare Act 2, Scene 3). This particular scene in the play shows tragedy by announcing the death of Duncan. Tragedy is being used by having the death of Duncan being yelled out to everyone else who are being awakened at the moment. This shows that the murder of Duncan is a big deal, and that everyone will be saddened by the death of their beloved king, Duncan.
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Movie Connection - Men of Respect (1990)

Like Lady Macbeth, Ruthie Battaglia, (Katherine Borowitz) wants her husband to have more power than he already has, and leads him into a coarse that is filled with "betrayal, frenzy, madness and death". Lady Macbeth wanted Macbeth to become king by murder, just like Ruthie wanted her husband to become head of a gang, by murder.
Men of respect 1990 trailer

Piece of Art

The piece of art below shows Lady Macbeth pulling Macbeth closer to tell him, and control him by telling him stuff to do (aka. kill King Duncan). In the book, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth says, "Only look up clear, To alter favor is to ever fear. Leave all the rest to me" (Shakespeare Act 1, Scene 6). This shows that Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth what to do, taking control over him.
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