Megan Strauss

Macbeth's Downfall

Because of his willingness to do anything in order to become king, Macbeth is to blame for his own downfall. In the beginning of the play, when he first killed Duncan, he showed that he knew that killing Duncan was a bad thing to do. But, as the play went on, as Macbeth killed more people, he stopped feeling bad for what he did. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth can see that his ambition is the only thing driving him to kill Duncan. He says "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the other" (Act 1 Scene 7). During this part of the play, Lady Macbeth is the person who tells Macbeth not to feel bad and to do anything in his power to become King. But, as Lady Macbeth and her husband switch roles, Macbeth turns into the one who doesn't care what he has to do in order to get what he wants. In a conversation with Lady Macbeth, he says, "Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill" (Act 3 Scene 2). By this he meant that after he started something bad, he has to keep doing bad things to keep it going. In the end, Lady Macbeth was the one who needed to take her own advice and not worry about what they had done. In the beginning, Lady Macbeth was causing Macbeth to do bad things, but later, Macbeth is doing things on his own without the help of his wife. In the end, no one leads Macbeth to his own death as much as himself. After he becomes king, Macbeth becomes overconfident and that leads him to his downfall. When the witches tell him that he will not be killed by anyone woman born, Macbeth says, "...our high-placed Macbeth shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath to time and mortal custom" (Act 4 Scene 1). From what the witches tell him, Macbeth believes that he is invincible. In the end, what killed him was not the witches misleading prophesies, but Macbeth's own ambition, making him believe that he couldn't be killed. If Macbeth had stopped to think about what the witches told him, he probably would have realized that he needed to be cautious, and in the end he might not have been killed. His desire to become King was so strong that he was willing to believe anything someone told him, because he wanted the position so badly.
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Dynamic Character: Lady Macbeth

Due to the fact that she dramatically changes the way she feels about killing Duncan, Lady Macbeth is a dynamic character. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the one who leads Macbeth to kill Duncan. She tells him not to feel bad and to do anything he needs to do in order to become king. She says, "These deeds must not be thought after these ways, so it will drive us mad" (Act 2 Scene 2). She tells Macbeth to not think about what they have done. In the end, she completely changes her way of thinking and breaks down. While sleepwalking she says, "What, will these hands ne'er be clean?" (Act 5 Scene 1). Lady Macbeth is showing that she feels guilt for killing Macduff's family. This is different from what she was saying at the beginning of the play when she was telling Macbeth to push all his guilt inside. Her changing lets the reader know that she is not as heartless as she is portrayed in the beginning of the play.
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While when the witches told Macbeth that he wouldn't be killed by anyone woman born, they were telling the truth, what they were saying was misleading, therefore a paradox. The witches lead Macbeth to think that he is invincible by telling him, "The pow'r of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" (Act 4 Scene 1). From the witches telling Macbeth this, he thinks that no one can kill him, but the witches intentionally said this knowing that Macduff was a C-section, not a natural birth. The witches in the play like to cause trouble and they knew that if they let Macbeth think that he couldn't be killed by a human, that bad things would happen to him. The witches were right and their prophesy boosts Macbeth's confidence and leads him to his death. Adding a paradox messes with what the reader is thinking and it is more surprising in the end when the opposite things happen.
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Dramatic Irony

Due to King Duncan not knowing that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are planning to kill him, this is an example of Shakespeare using dramatic irony. When Duncan comes to Macbeth's castle, Macbeth is acting nice even though he is planning on murdering him. Duncan says, "We love him highly and shall continue our graces towards him" (Act 1 Scene 6). When Duncan says this, he is saying how much he loves Macbeth and all that he does for their country, not knowing that Macbeth is planning on killing him that night. Adding dramatic irony lets the reader know more than what the characters in the story know. Dramatic irony, in this play, lets the readers watch Macbeth cause his own downfall, while also watching him not show his inner feelings to the other characters
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Besides the fact that Dan Scott (Paul Johansson), from One Tree Hill, and Macbeth are characters set in time periods almost a thousand years apart, they have very similar stories. In One Tree Hill, Dan kills his brother, Keith, because he was jealous of the life that Keith had, much like Macbeth kills Duncan because he was jealous of his position as the king. After Dan kills Keith, he continues to see Keith's ghost and that causes him to break down, like in the video. After Macbeth kills Banquo, he sees Banquo's ghost at dinner and he goes crazy in front of his guests. Macbeth and Dan have similar personalities as in they will do anything to get what they want, and that is what causes them to fall. After he kills Keith, Dan knows that his brother didn't deserve to die and that drives him crazy, much like Macbeth first feels after he kills Duncan and Banquo.
One Tree Hill - 322 - Dan On The Tomb Of Keith - [Lk49]


Though Simba is in line to be the king and Macbeth wants to kill Duncan to get to the throne, they both have in common that they want the position of King. In the song, when Simba is saying that when he is king, he will do whatever he wants, Zazu, the bird, acts like the rebels in saying, "If this is where the monarchy is headed count me out". When they see how Macbeth is a selfish king, the rebels discuss how they need to kill him to save Scotland, and Zazu is saying that if Simba acts like he says he is going to then Africa will be a disaster. Simba is young and doesn't understand the responsibilities of being king, much like Macbeth. Macbeth wants to be king, but he doesn't understand that he has a job to do as the king, for his country. Macbeth and Simba are very much alike in that they both are very ignorant and think that being king means they can do whatever they please. The Rebels see this in Macbeth and that is why they want to kill him. They know Macbeth doesn't know how to be a good king and they know that he is not what's best for their country.

I Just Can't Wait to be King 0:53-1:23

The Lion King Lyric Video | I Just Can't Wait to Be King | Sing Along