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Chenay Charles 11JN 2012 Literature Essay: Macbeth Lady Macbeth and the Three Weird sisters are

entirely to blame for the downfall of Macbeth In Shakespeares Macbeth, one finds the tale of the tragic hero and protagonist Macbeth. It is necessary to consider that Macbeth was a once-loyal soldier and Thane of Glamis, a man of stature. Macbeth was noble until his pride and overzealous ambition consumed him and he was influenced by the fatal equivocations of the Three Weird Sisters and the goading of Lady Macbeth. One must disagree with the notion that Lady Macbeth and the Three Weird Sisters were entirely to blame for the downfall of Macbeth as ultimately Macbeth was entirely to blame for his own actions, which resulted in his downfall. Macbeth dabbled in evil and was a slave to his lust for power and the throne. His driving force was his innate character flaw, his vaulting ambition. Macbeth was reduced to that of a paranoid, guilt -ridden usurper of the throne of Scotland. Macbeth became an incorrigible tyrant. His deeds proved he was nothing more than a butcher who committed treacherous deeds not only against his countrymen, but against God and nature. In order to reach a consensus as to with whom the blame for Macbeths downfall should ultimately be laid the theme of ambition and temptation must be considered. The prophecies of the Three Weird Sisters and Lady Macbeths influence on Macbeth must be analysed and most importantly Macbeths own moral compass and murders must be critically investigated. Macbeth was deeply affected by the equivocations, or half-truths spun by the Three Weird Sisters. The forces of darkness hailed him Thane of Cawdor and King. Once Macbeth was dubbed Thane of Cawdor, as foretold by the prophecy, he believed it to be credible. Macbeth was adorned with borrowed robes as he usurped the throne, and committed regicide. We see Macbeths own strong morals slip away. The seed of desires to kill Duncan were planted by the prophecy. However, Macbeth could have ignored the prophecy like the noble Banquo. This proves that Macbeth own ambition caused him to entertain murderous thoughts and share his dark desires with Lady Macbeth. Macbeth knew the prophecy was morally wrong and the three Weird Sisters cannot be entirely blamed for Macbeths downfall. He said My thoughts whose murder is yet but fantastical and shakes so my single state of man this proves Macbeth knew the prophecy was evil, yet he allowed himself to be overtaken by greed, and a lust for power. His transformation from hero to tyrant has begun. This proves Macbeth was entirely responsible for his own thoughts, which led to his brutal actions which resulted in his downfall. Lady Macbeth may have goaded Macbeth on to kill Duncan by bruising his eg o and insulting his manhood, When thou durst it then thou art a man. She was a strong influence as she called on the forces of darkness to unsex her and she relinquished her human countenance, to support her husband. However, Lady Macbeth did not kill Duncan, Macbeth did. She also did not know about the Macbeths plot to kill other innocents: Banquo and Macduffs babes and wife. Lady Macbeths loses her assertive spirit, and becomes ill as she suffers from a guilty conscious, because of Macbeths murders. She has no peace and cannot sleep. She said Heres the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Lady Macbeth was not entirely to blame for Macbeths downfall; she suffers a painful degeneration and she only sought to support her husband. She dies an untimely death, and Macbeth is too involved in his plans to keep his throne, that he shows little emotion. She lost what was most important to her, her close relationship with Macbeth. Macbeth was too captivated by the prophecy and his own greed, that no matter what Lady Macbeth said, he made his own decisions, which led to his death. In the Climax of the play Macbeth is so paranoid, and jealous of Banquos descendants becoming king of Scotland, according to the prophecy, he arranges the cold-blooded killing and ambush of Banquo and his son Fleaence. As all Macbeths efforts have been poured into securing his throne, Macbeth cannot stand the thought of Banquos descendants taking his throne, after he killed Duncan for it .Macbeth said he was cursed with a fruitless crown and has Banquo murdered, for Macbeth to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus proves Macbeth will never be content or at peace,

because of his ambition and paranoia. Banquos character is in sharp contrast with Macbeths, as Banquo suspects Macbeth of the murder of Duncan .Banquo identifies the prophecy as evil and he knew the prophecy sought to make them betray their morals, and duty to Scotland. Banquo, in the banqueting scene disturbs Macbeths peace of mind, by appearing as a ghost at the dining table. Banquo is able to startle Macbeth into revealing himself for the traitor that he is. Banquo was unable to do this while still alive. Macbeth has a breakdown and loses control, and the Thanes suspect him of treachery. This proves that Macbeth has a guilty imagination and a guilty conscious for he actually believes he is seeing Banquos ghost. Macbeth can no longer take pleasure in the joy of eating a meal in peace or dreamless sleep, as he has committed sins against nature and humanity. Macbeth is morally corrupt, and this proves he was responsible for his own downfall. Macbeth consults with the Three Weird Sisters a second time and rashly misinterprets the apparitions of the evil forces. The prophecy tells him to be weary of Macduffs-which lead to the senseless murder of Macduffs wife and children. This proves Macbeths ambition turned him into a callous murderer, these murders were all Macbeths plan, proving he was a tyrant. The prophecy that said For none born of women shall harm Macbeth lulled him into a false sense of security. Macbeth felt invincible. In arrogance Macbeth proclaimed that he lived a charmed life, he believed that he was immortal. However, Macduffs was untimely ripped from his mothers womb, Yet Macbeth, even though the prophecys had clearly failed Macbeth would not repent or admit defeat, his overbearing pride and ambition ensued right until the bitter end. He said I will not yield to kiss the ground at young Malcolms feet This proves Macbeths own foolish mistakes led to his own downfall. His own rash and violent decisions ultimately resulted in his death on Macduffs sword. It is necessary to consider that the tragedy of Macbeth lies in the fact that he murdered innocents and had no peace, all for a throne. Yet the very throne he sought to secure ended up in the worthy hands of the antagonists, Macduff and Malcolm. Macbeth believed he was the maker of his own destiny; he sought to fulfil his own ambitions by fulfilling the prophecys.. Ironically there was no joy or contentment in the throne and prophecys brought the greatest turmoil to Macbeth and resulted in his demise. No joy or contentment could be found there. One must agree that Macbeth was entirely to blame for his own downfall. He committed sinful deeds against heaven and nature. His intention: to find joy in become king and keep the throne. However his greed and lust for power influenced him more than Lady Macbeths and the Three Weird Sisters ever could. Once Macbeth was bent on becoming king, he was willing to slaughter anyone in his way, including, women, children and countrymen. It has been proven that were it not for Macbeths tragic flaw: His ambition, he would have been content with his title, and would have never been tempted by prophecys or sought the throne. What one may ascertain from Macbeths plight is that actions have very serious implications on our subconscious. The power of a guilty conscious is not to be underestimated. Macbeth will be remembered as a butcher whose head ended up on the very battlements he used to parade traitors on. Macbeth had the potential to be a good man, but he dabbled in evil, killed innocents and was entirely to blame for his own downfall.

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