The Downfall Of Macbeth

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As Roman author Publilius Syrus once said: “Fate is not satisfied with inflicting one calamity” (quoted on Quote Collection). In William Shakespeare’s classic work, The Tragedy of Macbeth, his most notable character, Macbeth, suffers a calamitous downfall due to his own vices based on three equivocations, also known as false predictions, given to him by each of the three witches at the beginning of the play. The Tragedy of Macbeth is loosely based upon the murder of the Scottish king, Duncan, the consequences, and the dethronement of the usurper who took his place. Shakespeare wrote this and Banquo in a good light because it was for King James; Banquo was an ancestor to King James. Macbeth wanted to appease King James and not upset him with …show more content…
Macbeth was given Banquo’s ambition along with his own. Macbeth’s ambition, paranoia, and interpretations of the witches’ equivocations put Macbeth in control of his fate and downfall. Macbeth’s ambition is one of the factors played into his downfall. After Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth, she excuses him of not having enough ambition when she says to herself: “Thou wouldst be great,/ Art not without ambition” (I.v.18-19). Lady Macbeth wants her husband to gain the ambition to kill Duncan so that they will become royalty. Once Macbeth has gained the crown, he begins to feel that his enemies or comrades will try to overthrow him. This feeling becomes a reality when he says: “To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus—” (III.i.48). Now that Macbeth has killed once, he is not going to stop killing until he feels safe and satisfied. This is how his ambition is a major role in his fate and downfall. After Macbeth has killed Duncan he becomes paranoid …show more content…
Macbeth and Banquo go to see the witches at the beginning of this play because they want to know what their futures entail. The witches prophesy that Macbeth will become king: “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!” (I.iii.50). They also tell Banquo that thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (I.iii.67-68). Macbeth believes in this; he writes a letter to his wife about becoming king and ruling Scotland. He is talking to Banquo about what the witches have just told them. Macbeth is speaking aside when he says: “If chance will have my King, why,/ chance may crown me,/ Without my stir” (I.iv.143-144). Macbeth says this before before he writes Lady Macbeth a letter telling her of the predictions. After Macbeth has his break down and change of character, he goes back to the witches to ask them if he is safe. The witches foresee that he should be safe until the woods closest to Dunsinane, Birnam Wood, comes to his castle. This makes Macbeth feel safe because woods cannot move because they are inanimate. A messenger comes to warn Macbeth that “…anon, methought,/ The wood began to move” (V.v.33-34). This angers and worries Macbeth because he thought the witches told him the truth: “I pull in resolution, and begin/ to doubt th’ equivocation of the fiend/ That lies like truth: “Fear not, till Birnam Wood/ Do come to Dunsinane!” (V.v.42-45). Similarly, the witches tell him that

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