Macbeth's Downfall: Who's to Blame?

By Cassidy Elrod

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Who or What is to Blame?

I think human nature is to blame for Macbeth's downfall. Anyone is capable of taking an idea that they had, or was put into their head, and then wanting to make it happen. It's a natural response, it's ambition. Macbeth had a lot of ambition. Enough for him to resort to killing others to get what he was striving for, which was power. The Three Witches put the thought, "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter! " (Act1Scene3Line56). Macbeth wanted the power after they had put the idea in his mind. He was hesitant at first but was pushed by his wife to proceed. Lady Macbeth teased and tricked him into doing it by saying, "Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place Did then adhere, and yet you would make both. They have made themselves, and that their fitness now Does unmake you" (Act1Scene7Lines58-62). If Lady Macbeth wouldn't have encouraged him so much to go through with it, it probably wouldn't have happened. Yet another part of human nature is wanting to please those that you love and that's exactly what he wanted, so he did it, he killed the King to make his wife happy, to bring them power. After killing the King Macbeth's reaction is, "But wherefore could not I pronounce "Amen"? I had most need of blessing and "Amen" Stuck in my throat. Those deeds must not be thought After these ways. So, it will make us mad" (Act2Scene2Line49-50). He was in shock at his own actions. He couldn't believe what he had done. Lady Macbeth's response was the opposite. She wanted him to forget about it just like when he washes his hands you can't see the blood anymore. But it was still engrained in his mind and turned him into a killing machine who lacked direction in life especially after Lady Macbeth passed away.
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How is it possible that Banquo is, "Lesser than Macbeth, and greater" (Act1Scene3Line73). This quote is said by the first witch when talking to Banquo and Macbeth. While informing them of their futures. It creates more of mystery and adds depth to what the Three Witches are telling the two men and starts Macbeth's drive to power.


Porter imagines, "Here's a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell gate, he should have old turning the key. Knock, knock, knock! Who's there, i' the name of Beelzebub!" (Act2Scene3Line1-4). Porter is pretending to guard the gates of hell foreshadowing the event of discovering the death of King Duncan. It adds a subtle hint to what will happen later in the story to Macbeth.


Macbeth used many analogies to express his feelings such as, "Whole as the marble, founded as the rock, As broad and general as the casing air. But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined" (Act3Scene4Lines29-30). Macbeth compared how he felt before killing Duncan, feeling free and unrestricted. Then he shares how he felt after killing Duncan which was confined by the fear of what he had done.
The Pursuit of Happyness (6/8) Movie CLIP - Cold Calling (2006) HD

Movie Connection: "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Chris Gardner aka. Will Smith uses his son as the thing that drives him to do better in life no matter what it costs him. Macbeth killed Duncan to please his wife. She wanted power and knew how to manipulate him to get it. He wanted to please the one he loved just like most humans do because it's in our nature to do so.
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Human nature is a strange concept. Most know right from wrong, yet they fail to acknowledge it. Macbeth knew he shouldn't kill King Duncan, but he did it anyway because he wanted to please his wife and to gain power.