Evaluate the Impact of Internal and External Forces on Macbeth’s Tragic Downfall

Topics: Tragic hero, Macbeth, Poetics Pages: 2 (736 words) Published: November 10, 2012
The impact of internal forces that are influenced by external forces results in Macbeth’s tragic downfall. Macbeth represents a true tragic hero who’s downfall is caused by his internal tragic flaw of ambition. Our initial impression of Macbeth is a brave and capable warrior. However, The external forces that influence Macbeth internally are the Witches and Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare uses language techniques to evoke the influence of the forces on his tragic downfall.

An external force that impacts Macbeth internally is the Witches, which leads to his tragic downfall. Shakespeare uses foreshadow to show the effect of the witches who fuel his fatal flaw, ambition, which shuts out his conscience. At the beginning of the play the witches cite “fair is foul and foul is fair”. The paradox interprets that something foul for one can be fair to another based on perspective. This foreshadows the “foul” act of regicide that Macbeth commits by giving into the temptation of the witches prophecy of becoming King. This appears to be “fair” to him because his ambition to become King clouds his conscience. It connects to the theme of appearance versus reality and displays the intended wicked influence of the witches’ duplicitous prophecies. This displays how the Witches influence attacks Macbeth’s internal flaw of ambition, which results in his tragic downfall. However, the witches influenced Macbeth into becoming King but they did not say that Macbeth would murder the Duncan in order for this to happen. “My thought whose murder is yet but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise”. Here it is apparent that Macbeth has plotted the murder of Duncan independently from his ambition. Therefore, Macbeth’s internal force of ambition is the main cause of his tragic downfall but was influenced by the witches.

Macbeth’s fatal flaw, ambition, is an internal force that leads Macbeth to his tragic downfall. The impact of Macbeth’s ambition on...
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