Prompt: “Macbeth is totally responsible for his own downfall” Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’ is about the leading male protagonist succumbing to his ambition and need for power. Though Macbeth is liable for his own actions, he is not solely responsible for the events that eventually result in his downfall. Macbeth is corrupted by his wife, Lady Macbeth, as well as the three weird sisters. Macbeth’s contribution towards his downfall is his strong ambitious nature. Lady Macbeth is the person who induces Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan.
The three weird sisters (witches) play with Macbeth’s ambitious nature and sense of security. Macbeth’s downfall is due to himself and two external factors. Due to Macbeth’s ambitious nature, lust for power and wanting to stay in power, he eventually brings upon his own downfall. Macbeth encounters three weird sisters in a heath, and when they begin chanting about Macbeths future status in the hierarchy of England, Macbeth becomes transfixed with their words and immediately requests for more information “stay you imperfect speakers, tell [Macbeth] more”.
Macbeth then, with the help of his wife, creates a plan then fulfils the act of murder of the king. Once Macbeth is crowned king, he starts to feel nervous about the presence of Banquo. So Macbeth hires two murders to get rid of Banquo, to do this he convinces them that killing Banquo is the right thing to do because “it was he in times past which held you so under fortune”. Macbeth drives home the fact that he is willing to do anything to stay in power, when he goes back to the witches for more information “I conjure you, by that which you prefer, however you come to know it, answer me”.
Macbeth’s ambition to become King of England causes him to eliminate Duncan and his best friend Banquo. Macbeth’s ambitious nature causes him to also mess with the supernatural. These events that Macbeth carried out and entered caused him to bring upon his own downfall. Macbeth’s ambition is not the only reason for his downfall. He is pushed along his path to disaster by his wife, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s ambition is somewhat similar to Macbeth’s. She wants power, and when Macbeths tells her what the witches have predicted, she realises that it is her chance to become queen.
Lady Macbeth is the one who convinces Macbeth to kill the king; she is also the one who comes up with the plan of Duncan’s assassination. Lady Macbeth takes matters into her own hands, “leave this night’s great dispatch to me”, and then persuades Macbeth that he has to be the one to kill Duncan. Yet when Macbeth begins to reconsider the plan, Lady Macbeth reassures him and gives him some advice to make sure no one will suspect their actions, “look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent underneath”.
Lady Macbeth is one of the main reasons for Macbeths downfall, because it was her that convinced Macbeth to follow her plan to kill her king, she used his ambition and she also questioned Macbeths manhood to ultimately reach her personal goal and both Macbeth’s and her goal to reach the highest possible power obtainable by a person. Macbeth is not completely responsible for his downfall; his wife is the pushing factor in his demise. Macbeths downfall may have been because of his ambition and lust for power, but it was the words of the three weird sisters that ignited his ambitions.
The witches started Macbeth’s quest to satisfy his ambition, by saying “All hail Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter”. These few words caused Macbeth to consider killing his king, and then making sure that no one can take his new status away from him. Even though the three sisters told Macbeth that he would be king, their leader, Hecate, questions their actions, “All you have done, hath been for a wayward son”. In spite of this they decide to play create a false sense of security with Macbeth, “security is mortals’ chiefest enemy”.
To do this they made the aspirations that Macbeth sees, sound like nothing can hurt, kill or dethrone him, “none of woman born can harm Macbeth”. The witches are responsible for Macbeth’s downfall because they make it seem that he cannot be killed by anything, thus enhancing his sense of security. This heightened sense of invincibility causes Macbeth to kill MacDuff’s family, and then fight with the thought that no one can hurt him. Macbeth is not totally responsible for his downfall, the witches twisting of words cause Macbeth to misinterpret the message, which causes his eventual death.
In Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’, Macbeth is seen to be the grounds of his own downfall. Macbeth’s actions bring upon his downfall, because it is he who eventually chose to kill Banquo and MacDuff’s family. These actions were due to his ambitious nature. Lady Macbeth is also to blame for her husband’s demise because she is the one who originally pushed Macbeth into killing Duncan; her actions cause Macbeth to eventually meet his own death.
Lady Macbeth is not the only factor that cause Macbeth’s downfall. The three witches are also responsible because they heighten Macbeth’s confidence and put the idea that he cannot be killed by anything. Macbeth’s ambitious nature is the main cause of his death, but it is not the only one. The influence of his wife and three sisters that spoke in ways that caused him to misinterpret, are the other factors that causes Macbeth’s downfall.