The Downfall of Macbeth

By: Naomi Cooper

Macbeth's Downfall

  • Macbeth's tragic downfall was causes by his wife and also his own want for power. Without the pressure of his wife wanting power, Macbeth most likely wouldn't have murdered the king, and his story would've had a better ending. Lady Macbeth had a need for power, but only a need that Macbeth could fulfill for her. Right before the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth is seen asking Macbeth, "What cannot you an I perform upon the unguarded Duncan? What not put upon his spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt Of our great quell"(Shakespeare 45). Macbeth is being pushed towards murdering Duncan, despite his fears of what could happen. Later on in the story, they decide to have a banquet, when Macbeth begins to hallucinate. Lady Macbeth says to him, "O, these flaws and stars(impostors to true fear) would well become a woman's story at a winter's fire, authorized by her grandam. Shame itself"(Shakespeare 101). Lady Macbeth dismisses his fears as imaginary, and that his fears are unmanly, so that he will go on through the dinner like nothing is wrong, by making him feel bad. Towards the end of the play, Lady Macbeth admits to persuading her husband to kill Duncan. While in her sleep she says, "Out, the damned spot! Out, I say! one; tow. why then 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky. FIe, my lord, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt? Yet who would have that the old man to have had so much blood in him?"(Shakespeare 155).

Literary Devices

  1. Symbolism:
  2. Dynamic Character:
  3. Tragedy:
Set It Off - Nightmare LYRICS

Song explanation...

The song Nightmare by Set it Off is a good example of Macbeth's downfall. In the song it talks about how he, "created a monster, a hell within my own head" ,which is how many would explain what was happening to Macbeth. A monster was created because of Lady Macbeth's pressure and need for control. So because of her needs, she had "created a monster" in which he had to deal with the terrible thoughts that came along with it. Throughout the song, it also talks about how he is scared of what happened. Which is very similar to a scene in the book. In the book Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that his fears are unmanly, because telling him he isn't manly helped her remain in control over her husband.


During the book, Macbeth is driven by two major forces to kill Duncan. Those two forces are, his own want for power and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth controls her husband by telling him what is and isn't manly. Her doing this giver her power of him.