Downfall of MacBeth

Essay by biged522High School, 11th gradeA+, July 2004

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Who Rules Your World?

In his play Macbeth, William Shakespeare makes several accusations regarding man's subordinancy to those other than himself. Although this story takes place during a time when nobility were said to be very knowledgeable, several instances occur in which man is influenced directly by others nearby. Macbeth, a nobleman of Scotland, spends most of his time in this play committing and plotting murder. These murders appear, superficially, to be a result of Macbeth's selfish desire to be a powerful ruler. Upon further reading it becomes obvious that Macbeth's rise to royalty and eventually his tragic downfall would not be possible without several prominent outside influences. Specifically, Macbeth's decisions centered on the beliefs of the three weird witches and his wife, Lady Macbeth.

The three witches control Macbeth's thoughts and actions from very early on in the play. In an early interaction the witches refer to Macbeth by stating, "All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!" (I, iii, Line 46).

It was this exclamation of encouragement that began Macbeth's unyielding pursuit of royalty. The witches gave Macbeth a hunger for power that he would not have ever known. From the moment Macbeth believed these prophesies to be true, his tragic flaw of obsessive greed began to take hold. In the eyes of the reader, Macbeth had already transformed from a nobleman into a pitiful power hungry villain that was doomed to never prosper.

Macbeth's fate is further sealed when he gives in to the influence of his wife, Lady Macbeth, in regards to their murder of King Duncan. Macbeth questions his greed and the idea of murder and tells his wife, "We will proceed no further in this...