By: Jake Beauchamp
Who is to blame for Macbeth's downfall?
Literary Device - Dramatic Irony
Macbeth is confident about his safety; meanwhile, the audience knows Macbeth will die when Macduff and Birnam wood are present. Macbeth accepts that he cannot be killed by anyone naturally born of a woman, and until Birnam woods moves. This boosts his confidence, although he does not realize he will be killed when these two things are present. However, the audience knows that Macduff is not naturally born of a woman, and Birnam Woods is dressed in camouflage creeping toward the castle in Scotland. Macbeth only knows he, "...shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinsane Hill shall come against him"Act 4 Scene 1(Shakespeare 122). The witches told Macbeth he is almost invincible. The audience had seen the prediction of the witches long before Macbeth realized, which happened to be too late.
Literary Device - Dynamic Character
Macbeth's character changed throughout the plot because Macbeth was overthrown with ambition due to the witches prophecies. Macbeth started out as a brave, noble soldier. Once the witches spoke to Macbeth about the prophecy, Macbeth lost all self control and began to rely on the witches. Macbeth wanted to know that," Even till destruction sicken-answer me what I ask you" Act 4, Scene 1(Shakespeare 119). Macbeth got very demanding with the witches, for he wanted to know what his next fate resembled. He is outraged when the witches bring up Macduff and Banqou's sons. Since Macduff stands in the way of Macbeth's authority, Macbeth kills Lady Macduff and her son. This shows that Macbeth has changed into a very deceiving, detached person due to his ambitious thoughts caused by the witches.
Literary Device - Symbolism
Because the witches prophecy said Macbeth would be king, Macbeth killed king Duncan and thought water would not be able to cleanse all guilt from his hands. After Macbeth killed king Duncan, his hands were red with blood. Macbeth asks himself, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No. This my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red" Act 2, Scene 2(Shakespeare 57). This statement represents the symbolism of how the blood on his hand will redden the seas. Holding back his guilt, he soon forgets about Duncan and focuses on being the king. His guilt aggravates his ambition to become more powerful for years to come; however, his guilt cannot be forgotten by washing his hands with water.