Macbeth

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  • Published : April 30, 2013
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In the play 'Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the character is said to descend into madness and throughout the play we can see certain characters that would be said to have been instrumental to his downfall.

It could be argued that the witches are more responsible than Macbeth himself. Although Macbeth takes the action that leads to his downfall, he perhaps would not have done this if the witches had not told him that he would be king. In Act 1, Scene 3, the witches tell Macbeth that he is thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor and that he "shalt be king hereafter". Immediately after hearing the witches prophecies that he will be king, Macbeth thinks that he must kill the current king in order for this to happen. I believe that before hearing the witch's prophecies, Macbeth had never even thought of killing King Duncan to become king himself. In Act 4, Scene 1, Macbeth meets again with the witches, who tell him through apparitions, "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the thane of Fife." In the following scene, we see murderers sent by Macbeth enter Macduff's castle and slaughter both Lady Macduff and her son. The witches are also responsible for this murder, because once again, the witches put ideas in his head. Although the witches can be held responsible for the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macduff and her son, they cannot be held responsible for the murder of Banquo. The witches only speak of Banquo when Macbeth meets with them for the second time in Act 4, Scene 1, after Banquo had already been killed. This murder is the complete responsibility of Macbeth, because the witches had absolutely nothing to do with it and it was only Macbeth's own suspicions that brought him to have Banquo killed. If Macbeth had not taken action to fulfill the witch's prophecies, he would probably have been happily living as the thane of Glamis and Cawdor at the end of the play. It could be said that he was responsible for his own downfall. However, Macbeth only took...
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