Is Macbeth Responsible For His Own Downfall Analysis

Good Essays
Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy Macbeth denounces the Elizabethan ideology of fate and predetermined destiny by presuming that although Macbeth was a victim of his vast ambition, he was ultimately responsible for his downfall. Though there is much in the substance of Shakespeare’s tragedies that complicates the relationship between action and accountability concerning the tragic heroes, one can not assume, merely because they find themselves in an arduous position, that the events which unfolded in their midst engulfed them and rendered them powerless. Circumstance, then, does not simply deny the existence of responsibility. Given reason, one is capable both of the good and the evil behavior that seals his fate. The true calamity of this tragic Shakespearean play does not lie in the resulting circumstances that Macbeth then finds himself in, but what he chooses to make of those times. Ultimately, it is Macbeth himself who serves as the sole reason for his …show more content…
Henceforth, Macbeth is entirely responsible of his own actions, even to the point of denying his own conscience which repeatedly bade him to re-consider his dark ways leading to his demise. Regarding his conscience, he tells Lady Macbeth, “To know what I have done – it would be better to lose consciousness altogether”(2.2.87-88). He realizes the morality of his act, which leads to his overwhelming feeling of guilt. Macbeth wishes to forget completely he even committed the murder and his thoughts and comments strongly suggest that he regrets killing the king. This deep remorse drives him to the brink of insanity and henceforth leads to many consequent murders. He not only undeniably destroys himself by his own wicked and selfish ambitions, Macbeth is also fully remorseful for his actions while continuing to destroy the lives of others without

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The most obvious moment where Othello’s insanity shines is during the final scene when during his murder of Desdemona. He displays his love and anger as he demands Desdemona to “do it, and be brief” because he “would not kill [Desdemona’s] unprepared spirit” (5.2.33-34). Here Othello depicts his insanity as he is consumed in a storm of love and rage. Despite Desdemona’s constant plea of not being guilty, Othello refuses to believe her and asks her again before he kills her. This stubborn insanity causes the audience to feel sorry for Othello as his thoughts are permanently scarred.…

    • 1127 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Whilst Macbeth’s abominable actions warrant utter hatred, Macbeth’s own personality and the external influences helping shape his deeds deny this, and instead leave the audience looking upon Macbeth with a sense of sorrow at Shakespeare’s tragic hero. The crimes perpetrated by Macbeth are murders of the most execrable nature, and turn the audience against the protagonist. Perhaps chief among these is the regicide of King Duncan. Prior to the killing, Macbeth realizes how depraved such an act would be for one in his position: “First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself.” His exploitation of the…

    • 1337 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In this case the ending seems to be a just but tragic one. Consequently it seems evident that Macbeth could justly be considered a “tragic hero” as his grievous story satisfies the defined criteria for a tragic hero. Macbeth holds a substantial amount of power, shows essential truths about humanity through his suffering, has tragically wasted qualities, contains a tragic flaw leading to his downfall and ultimately finds some form of resignation in his…

    • 711 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, for hath cow’d my better part of man! And be these juggling fiends no more believed” (5.8.19-23), shows Macbeth’s recognition of his mistake. His mistake is relying too strongly on the prophecies told by the witches. Once he recognizes this, he knows his death is certain. In addition, Macbeth also displays the characteristic of anagnorisis when Macbeth is in recognition of Banquo’s murder and is in the state of feeling very guilty.…

    • 1120 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The killing is no longer justified by the prophecy, therefore serving a testament of Macbeth 's complete loss of control. Macbeth believes that Macduff’s choice to leave to England is an indication that he is a traitor, and needs to be eliminated. His unstoppable blood lust, even for the innocent, is only fueled by the witches warning, “Beware Macduff;/ Beware the thane of Fife” (4.177-78). Governed by his unyielding ambition, Macbeth follows through with his actions, no matter how cruel they may be; justifying them as being “The very firstlings of my heart shall be/ The firstlings of my hand” (4.1.161-162). The decisions Macbeth carries out demonstrate that he is becoming a corrupt individual.…

    • 1112 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Abuse Of Power In Macbeth

    • 1014 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Macbeth’s uncertainty first began with his hope to not let his “black and deep desires” (Shakespeare 1.4.58) consume his mind after his prophecy foreshadowed Duncan’s murder. This initial feeling translated to his later guilt when talking to Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth, being paranoid, comments, “wake Duncan with thy knocking” (2.3.94), to emphasize his regret in putting Duncan to rest. His guilt beginning to fill his mind with “scorpions” (3.2.41), his mental and emotional instability leads him to killing Banquo in order to retain his kingship. The remorse of Banquo’s death is evident in Macbeth’s banquet, when he believes Banquo “shake[s] thy gory locks at me” (3.4.61-62). The thought of Banquo’s anger beyond his death terrifies Macbeth, “Avaunt, and quit my sight!…

    • 1014 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Fear In Macbeth Essay

    • 1105 Words
    • 5 Pages

    A famous quote by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is commonly heard and applied to situations of feeling hopeless and scared; “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” However, in the case of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the truth is that there is nothing to fear except yourself. Macbeth’s ultimate fall from power was the consequence of his own actions as well as his own self destructing behavior. Rather than someone else causing him to fail and lose power, it was Macbeth himself that finally brought on his own collapse. Because he made the choice to be a murderous dictator, he affected his relations with others and felt excessive guilt which eventually drove him insane and leads to his demise. Macbeth turned his own fate into one of…

    • 1105 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    His will to fulfill his prophecy and fate is on his terms and not the natural way. Dr. Paul Gleed declares that the tragic hero is accountable for his frailties. It seems as if he is playing Fate and Fortune. Macbeth’s fatal end was a result of his personal error and decision. “Macbeth” is a true Aristotelian tragedy due to the fact that it depicts the downfall of a basically good person such as Macbeth, it demonstrates the audience’s response of pity and fear throughout the tragedy, and it shows the hero’s end is a consequence of a personal error or decision made earlier in the play.…

    • 1061 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    (3. 3. 537-538, 543-545)” Othello’s mind has settled to murder, the worst crime of humankind. With his trust broken from the paranoia and manipulations of Iago, Othello’s jealousy has taken over any rational thought or second option he would have had. His jealousy has come to an extreme and he would rather destroy what he had with Desdemona than to fix it.…

    • 1129 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Macbeth Good Vs Evil

    • 792 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Immediately following the death of Duncan, Macbeth fell into a trance fueled by his realizations of the crimes he committed and in his statement that, “I had most need of blessing, and “Amen” stuck in my throat.” (II.ii.32-33) he expresses that he knew of his wrongdoings. Throughout the rest of the tragedy, Macbeth’s guilt builds up to acting out more violently to cover any suspicions, up until the point in which his insanity drives his own wife to commit suicide. Faced with the oncoming English army led by Macduff, Macbeth faces the last moments of his misled life, confessing his guilt to his Macduff and explaining: “Of all men else I have avoided thee. But get thee back. My soul is too much charged with blood of thine already.” (V.viii.4-6).…

    • 792 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays