Macbeth's Tragic Downfall

The Scottish Play

Explanation of the downfall

Macbeth tried to change his fate so his family would become a long line of kings and queens. He was so worried about his future he slowly destroyed himself. Although Lady Macbeth did not help his cause. She was the one who convinced him to kill Duncan because he would get in the way of the prophecies given to him by the three witches. He was going to back out of it but Lady Macbeth told him if he didn't he wouldn't be a man that he'd become a coward:"And live a coward in thine own esteem" (1.7 45-50). This is from the scene where Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to stick to their plan of murder. After this murder he soon starts to go crazy, He stops thinking about what is right or wrong and does the first thing that pops into his head,"The firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand"(4.1 165-170). Most of these things are not the best decisions. He soon begins to murder anyone who he thinks might get in the way of his prophecies, "If thou speak'st false, Upon the next tree shalt hang alive..."(5.5 43-44). He decided that if the messenger was lying that he would kill the messenger by hanging him on the first tree that he sees.He did these things because he was filled with fear. He was only king because he killed the previous one and felt terrible about it so he was going to do anything to protect his crown.

Character analysis: Lady Macbeth

As shown at the start of the book she is power hungry and will so anything so that Macbeth becomes king. She comes up with the idea of of killing king Duncan when he is staying at their castle,"That wchich cries"Thus thou must do" if they have it; And that which rather thou dost fear to do"(1.5 24-25).She is twisted in such a way where she is going to trick Macbeth into killing Duncan. She becomes more determined to kill the king but then Macbeth begins to doubt the plan.She is not going to let that happen,"They have made themselves, and that their fitness now does unmake you."(1.7 60-62). Lady Macbeth starts to go crazy and convinces Macbeth to follow through. She can not reverse the damage she has done to herself. The guilt gets to her and she becomes mentally ill and this is the fault of her own.

Literary Devices


"By each at once her choppy fingers laying upon her skinny lips. You shoukd be women and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so"(1.1 46-50). Macbeth has just encountered the witches and assumes them to be women. But they have beards so he cannot say if they are or are not women.

2.dynamic character

"Of all men else i have avoided thee. But get thee back. My soul is too much charged with blood of thine already"

Towards the beginning of the book Mackbeth begins to murder many people. But in this scene he told Macduff he does not wish to murder him because Macbeth already killed his family.


"Macbeth is ripe for shaking..."(4.3 280)

They are comparing Macbeth to a ripe fruit because he is ready to be attacked by the enemy.

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Song connection

"I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King is a perfect representation of Macbeth because he is very eager to become king and does not want to wait for him to be in control.