Macbeth's Downfall

Why Did Macbeth Fall?

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Macbeth was once a strong loyal soldier. However, throughout time he became torn apart by aspiration. Macbeth came across three witches, and the prophecies they told of

Macbeth soon came true. The prophecies said he would become the Thane of Cawdor and then King. Which he did. Immediately after he became Thane of Cawdor he began to think about killing the King of Scotland to fulfill the prophecies. "If good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature" (1.3.155). Here Macbeth is confused and arguing whether he should kill the King or not to try and fulfill the prophecies. He shows aspiration because he sees the that the other prophecies came true and wishes for the third to come true too. Later on, Macbeth carries out his thoughts of killing King Duncan. With the help of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's aspiration, Macbeth had "done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise"(2.2.19). Macbeth's aspiration led him to fulfill the third prophecy by killing Duncan. Now Macbeth will become King. Lastly, towards the end, Macbeth is told by the witches third apparition to take aspiration, because they state that Macbeth will not be defeated until Birmingham Wood marches upon Dunsidane Hill. "Arm, Arm, and out! If this which he avouches does appear, there is nor flying hence nor tarrying here" (5.5.51). After the witches apparitions come true, Macbeth gathers aspiration and must face his death while fighting. He decides to meet the intruders and fight rather than stay in his castle. Aspiration of the witches prophecies leads Macbeth through the play all the way to his tragic end.

Literary Devices

Many literary devices are shown throughout Macbeth to help the reader understand the story. One example is situational irony: "Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsidane Hill shall come against him" (4.1.107). One of the witches apparitions stated this and later on Macbeth was overrun by soldiers who marched towards his castle using tree branches, from Birnam Wood, as camouflage. A second device used was Foil: Banquo would be considered Macbeth's foil. The witches told Banquo that he "shalt get kings, though thou be none" (1.3.74). While Banquo was patient with the witches prophecies and not a greedy man, Macbeth was ruthless and was willing to kill anyone who stands in his way. Banquo was clearly an opposite of Macbeth when it comes to power. Lastly, the saying "Foul is fair, and fair is foul," said by the witches is the motif of the story. Many foul characters covered up their personalities by acting fair, and many fair characters were shown to be foul. Such as Macbeth. When Macbeth says, "Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires" (1.4.58). After hearing about the witches prophecies, Macbeth decides not to show that he wants to kill Duncan. He disguises his foul personality with fairness so nobody suspects him. Many other literary devices are shown throughout Macbeth, these are only a few.


I stand before the witches prophecies

the sisters vanish yet behold great news

That make me crave the most harmful of deeds

that crush my appeal I wish not to loose

I am a ruthless and ignorant man

that harms whoever may stand in my way

I must hide the fact that I am a madman

and think of the prophecies every day

I am the cause of many peoples deaths

for they have stood in my way much too long

I shall soon approach in my last few breaths

I have been leading to this all along

For now I passed with a lesson learned

That power is not forced but rather earned

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This piece of art shows a fist holding up a king's crown. This symbolizes a person who's desire is to pertain power, much like Macbeth. Macbeth, after hearing the witches prophecies, desires to have power. He gains aspiration to try and fulfill the prophecies and this is what ultimately corrupts him and leads him to his doom. "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter....Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail Macbeth and Banquo" (1.3.56; 74-76). Macbeth was told he would become King soon. His now most precious desire is not to be loyalto those in power, but to be the one who has the power.