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Macbeth by Shakespeare Essay

Shakespeare’s play Macbeth follows the tragic downfall of a great man. Macbeth was once thought of as noble and valiant but by the end of the play, a dead butcher. The murder of King Duncan marks the beginning of Macbeth’s downfall. This is more a result of Macbeth’s vaulting ambition than his belief in the supernatural. However, it is Macbeth’s belief in the supernatural that makes him continue on the path to downfall and ultimately lose all his honourable qualities.

In Macbeth the witches symbolise the supernatural. The weird sisters evoke Macbeth’s ambition; they know how Macbeth will react to their prophecies so they toy with him and deceive him by saying one thing but meaning another. The witches have no conscience; they cause mischief on purpose and enjoy it. The witches provide the foundation for Macbeth’s downfall by telling him that he shalt be king hereafter. When Macbeth hears the witches’ prophecies, horrible imaginings are opened in his mind. Unlike Banquo who dismisses the witches’ prophecies, Macbeth contemplates regicide. The witches plant the seed to Macbeth’s downfall. He wants the witches to stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more. This shows that Macbeth believes in the idea that he can be king, and that he perhaps has thought about regicide before.

Lady Macbeth is also a large contributing factor to the regicide. If Lady Macbeth was not behind Macbeth plotting the death of King Duncan and manipulating Macbeth into doing The deed, none of the deaths would have occurred, therefore there would be no downfall for Macbeth. Macbeth believes that if chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir, whereas after Lady Macbeth reads the letter Macbeth sends to her, without hesitation, she thinks of regicide. Lady Macbeth knows that Macbeth is too full o’th’milk of human kindness and that she will have to persuade him. Despite Macbeth wanting to proceed no further of this business, Lady Macbeth convinces him by questioning his pride, but screw your courage to the sticking-places, and saying that only when you durst do it, then you were a man.

Lady Macbeth sees her femininity as an obstacle towards achieving her ambition, so she calls upon you spirits that tend of mortal thoughts to stop up the access and passage to remorse.After Macbeth is settled and bend up about the murder of King Duncan, he develops a guilt complex which causes him to see hallucinations. Just before Macbeth carries out the regicide, he sees an illusion of a dagger, he questions is this a dagger which I see before me, or a dagger of the mind, a false creation. Macbeth slowly becomes more and more paranoid.

Immediately after the regicide he thinks he hears voices crying sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. The more paranoid Macbeth becomes the more people he murders, and the more people he murders the more paranoid he becomes, this is one of the reasons for Macbeth’s downfall. Macbeth also murders Banquo, because he suspects Banquo of knowing the truth. However, afterwards at the banquet, Macbeth sees apparitions again, this time the ghost of Banquo. Macbeth develops paranoia, which leads Macbeth to go find the witches again to seek guidance.

The loss of Macbeth’s honourable qualities and the reason Macbeth continues on the road to downfall is ultimately caused by his belief in the supernatural. Macbeth’s belief in the supernatural uncovers his fatal flaws. Because of Macbeth’s belief in the supernatural, he goes to find the witches again, and after seeing the apparitions he feels indestructible. Macbeth becomes overly ignorant, arrogant and exceedingly paranoid, he lets his belief in the supernatural get the better of him. Macbeth relies too much upon the witches’ apparitions; he has no doubts and believes I bear a charmed life which most not yield to one of woman born. Macbeth feels that no one can harm him and take his throne, so he tells the servants to bring me no more reports, let them fly all. Macbeth does not care about anything any longer; he truly and completely believes he is invincible.

Despite the witches telling Macbeth the prophecies and Lady Macbeth pushing him to murder the King, it was Macbeth that commits the regicide and continues on to the murder of Banquo. Macbeth’s downfall is a result of his belief in the supernatural. His weakness is relying too much upon the witches’ apparitions, which subsequently unveiled all his personality flaws and ultimately caused his downfall.


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