The Tragedy of Macbeth

Burke Holt

Downfall of Macbeth

With the downfall of Macbeth one may ask, "Who was really to blame?" the witches, Lady Macbeth, ambition? With all of these being factors in his downfall the one truly to blame is Lady Macbeth. In the early stages of the play it was clear to the reader that Lady Macbeth was quite manipulative and constantly edged on Macbeth to do her deeds to further her own wealth/social status. To start, one may tell that Lady Macbeth is manipulative because she believes that whatever she tells Macbeth he will in fact agree true or not. "That I may pour my spirits in thine ear" ("Macbeth" 1.5.26). Moreover, "When you durst do it, then you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.. I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out " ("Macbeth" 1.7.56-66). From this information it states that Lady Macbeth would kill their own child for them yet Macbeth would not kill Duncan even though it would further their social status/wealth. As Lady Macbeth says this Macbeth thinks that he must kill Duncan so his wife will be happy. Furthermore, as Lady Macbeth brainwashed Macbeth into believing that all that matters is to be kind forever and as long as possible he thinks that he must kill Banquo because of the prophecy given by the witches. The prophecy stated that Macbeth shall become king, but Banquo's children will be kings and queens, this frightens Macbeth into thinking that he will loose his power to Banquo's children and his only "logical" thought is to kill Banquo so he will never have children and be king for the rest of his life. "Murderer. 'Tis Banquo's then. Macbeth. 'Tis better thee without than he within. Is he dispatched? Murderer. My lord, his throat is cut. That I did for him" ("Macbeth" 3.4.17-20). Macbeth, to further his rule as king, hired murderers to kill Banquo so he would not have anymore blood on his hands yet still prolong his reign as king.

Movie Connection

Gone Girl

    Rosamund Pike playing the role of Amy Dunne seemed to resemble Lady Macbeth in some ways. For she was manipulative, and ended up ruining Nick Dunne(played by Ben Affleck)'s life. The movie "Gone Girl" resembles Macbeth because when Nick and Amy first started to date everything seemed amazing, until Amy faked her own murder which made it seem to be committed by her husband. When doing so people began to turn on him and prosecute him for unreasonable acts that he did not commit. As the film progressed it showed how far Amy Dunne went to keep herself hidden by forming a new identity, paying only in cash, and moving around a lot. Later in the film Amy decided it would be best to go find her old boyfriend but after she realized that he wasn't all that great she made it seem as if he had kidnapped her, raped her, and physically abused her. Soon after she murdered him. After calling the police stating that she murdered him in "Self Defense" was returned home and soon confessed to her husband Nick what actually happened which made him want to divorce. Yet again, she lied, but this time she told Nick that she was pregnant so that he would no leave her. All in all Lady Macbeth related to Amy Dunne because as Lady Macbeth was manipulative and ruined Macbeth's life as Amy ruined Nick's.

    (Link to Trailer : )


I feel the king’s too good a man to kill,
A humble man whose honored me with names.
I do not feel I have the right or will,
Besides desire for the crown and fame.
A trusted king of Scotland, Duncan is,
And he believes my loyalty is firm.
No pity would be mine, but only his
No loyalty in this act I’d confirm.
I do already what a man should do;
Although, my lady pushes me ahead.
But with this type of act, I shan't go through.
I’ll tell my love that no blood shall be shed.
Although my goal is to be the new king,
I feel that killing Duncan’s the wrong thing.

Literary Divice : Imagery

“Upon the corner of the moon There hangs a vap’rous drop profound. And that distilled by magic sleights Shall raise such artificial sprites As by the strength of their illusion Shall draw him on to his confusion” ("Macbeth" 3.5. 23-29).

Literary Divice : Irony

“Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him ("Macbeth" 4.1. 92-94)

Literary Divice : Personification

"My gashes cry for help."("Macbeth" 1.2.46)