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Who really was to

blame for the downfall of Macbeth? Was it himself, his wife; Lady Macbeth or

the Witches? Firstly I will look at all the murders which lead up to the death

of Macbeth, then I will assess each of the three individuals before

concluding my information.Norwegians &

Traitors They were killed

during battle by Macbeth and Banquo and the Scottish army. Macbeth & Banquo

were fighting for King and Country with no fear of wrong doing. Totally different

to the other ?unlawful? killings which were actually murders; the killing

of the Norwegians was not murder but a battle. Scotland were totally out

numbered and were the underdogs yet they still ?Doubly redoubled stakes upon

the foe.?King Duncan Arguably the most

important killing because it is the first premeditated cold blooded killing in

the play. The first ?unlawful? killing that Macbeth committed and one which he

later regrets. This is the killing which leads to the whole string of murders

under Macbeth. Macbeth calls it ?the horrid deed? because he does not really

want to kill his king (?most sacrilegious murder?) but it is the only way he will

become king. This killing also involves greatly Lady Macbeth because of

the way she planned it and helped in its execution and cover up.The Two Grooms Macbeth?s second

killing almost immediately after the murder of King Duncan which ruins the plan

of Lady Macbeth to frame them. It is an illogical and pointless killing

which points the finger at Macbeth for the killing of King Duncan. It is a messy

murder in public view and is the only one in which everybody knows

Macbeth has done it. The grooms had been drugged so the couldn?t remember

what had happened the night before so if Macbeth had not killed them the would

not have known themselves if they had done it. It is an untidy death and a

key event in the downfall of Macbeth.Banquo Another murder that

was this time instigated by Macbeth but Banquo was actually murdered by

two men from the dregs of society hired by Macbeth. A killing which is

intended to cover up Macbeth?s previous killings because he thinks Banquo knows.

A very cowardly killing in which Banquo and his young son Fleance are

ambushed with little chance of survival. Fleance should also have been killed but

Banquo sacrificed his life to help him get away. Again this is a messy

killing because Fleance gets away, ? Fleance his son? ?must embrace the

fate of that dark hour?.Macduff?s Family Probably the messiest

murder because of the cold hearted, blood thirsty and spiteful way it is

carried out. It was a? needless killing

which could do nothing but implicate

Macbeth, who was warned of Macduff by the apparitions: ?Macbeth! Macbeth!

Macbeth! Beware Macduff, beware the thane of Fife.? But then Macbeth is

reassured by another apparition that tells him; ?none of women born Shall harm

Macbeth?. This cause Macbeth to say ? Then lives Macduff: what need I

fear of thee?? But when he hears

that Macduff has fled to England he decides to slaughter ?his wife, his babes,

and all unfortunate soul that trace him in his line.?? This murder shows how

Macbeth changes throughout the play into a more confident and brutal

man. He loses all his conscience and no longer worries about the

implications of his deeds. Who is to Blame?Macbeth In the battle at the

beginning of the play Macbeth?s violence against the Norwegians earns him

high praise from King Duncan. In this scene King Duncan also announces

his decision to pass the throne on to his son. This news angers Macbeth

who himself wishes too take the crown. This is the first event when Macbeth

shows his desire to be king. Macbeth though also recognises King

Duncan as a great king, King Duncan has just made Macbeth the thane of

Cawdor; ?hath been so clear in his great office.? But when he meets the

Witches for the first time he shows his desire to overthrow his king

and become king himself: ?Macbeth! That shall be king hereafter.? Macbeth?s

reaction to this prophecy makes it clear that he is intrigued by what

they have to say. Witches in the 1500-1600?s were taken very seriously and in

fact during this period more Witches we killed than in any other. Today we

look at Witches? ?tongue in cheek? because of the factual scientific age in

which we live, but in the period of Macbeth when people believed in the

supernatural such prophecies were taken very seriously.? At this point it is

hard for him to see how he can become king without killing King Duncan, which he

does not want to do. When he writes home to his wife, Lady Macbeth,

he realises that killing King Duncan does not seem so hard because of an

imminent visit from King Duncan. It is this belief from his wife and her plan

which gives Macbeth the confidence to kill King Duncan. From this point

onwards Macbeth really thinks that he can get away with it and his desire grows,

he becomes foolish and blinded of the later repercussions. Banquo

makes light of the matter and almost seems to laugh that Macbeth is

taking this so seriosly. The Witches also prophesise that Banquo?s children

will be kings. ?If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me, without

my stir.? Is what Macbeth first says but after King Duncan?s decision to

make Malcolm king he is pushed towards a more evil way of achieving his

goal; ?Stars hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires.?The Witches? They were taken very

seriously in the 17th century and were seen as mysterious and evil

agents of the devil. In the play they have various powers in which they curse

and summon the apparitions. At the start they seem to be the most evil

characters but they do not actually kill anyone. They only make three appearances in

the whole play in which they actually have a tremendous influence.

They instigate the murder and influence Macbeth into killing King Duncan.

They have a strong entry in which pathetic fallacy echoes chaos in the

weather through the storm. Their power is stronger at the start as they seek

out Macbeth but by the end Macbeth has grown more confident and less

fearful of the Witches and actually seeks them out. He has actually become more

of a devils agent than they are throughout the play. They witches actually

set out to create chaos but actually end causing serious damage to the

monarchy and important people in Scotland.Macbeth & Witches They only meet three

times but the difference between these meetings is immense: In the 1st Meeting

They ambush Macbeth and Banquo on their return from battle. Macbeth is

?rapt? by their news but especially when the prediction thatb he will become Thane

of Cawdor comes true. After this he actually believes that what they say is

true. He decides to leave it to fate but eventually he takes matters into

his own hands. In the final meeting

Macbeth actually seeks them out and demands information, in the

form of the apparitions. Macbeth is actually now more evil than the witches, and

to their defence, like Lady Macbeth do not actually kill anyone.Lady Macbeth Traditional view: She

is the worst villainess in English literature. But when Macbeth was written,

in the 1600?s, a woman?s role in a marriage/relationship would be to support

her partner, bear and raise children and to look after household matters. So

in these duties Lady Macbeth would have been seen as a good supporting

house wife although there is no real mention of children except when Lady

Macbeth says ?Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums. And dashed his

brains out.? Modern view: Nowadays

Lady Macbeth is seen, especially by feminists as an empowered woman -

even the heroine of the play. She arguably does nothing wrong, she just takes

the initiative in trying to get what is best for her and her husband (Macbeth).

?you shall put this nights great business into my despatch.? She knows that the

only way to make Macbeth truly happy is for him to become king,

so she helps him to forget his conscience ?a little water clears us of this

deed.?? She uses her sexuality to get

through to Macbeth and take control over him

?Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the

valour of my tongue.? She knows that this will win him over, she has sexual

power over him. Another modern

psychological view: Lady Macbeth has a lack of foresight which is similar to

that of a child. She wants something so badly that she doesn?t really think

what she is doing, like when a child is enticed by a stranger into a car

for sweets in the modern day. She is very unlike

her husband because he regrets the murder straight away unlike her who thinks

?a little water clears us of this deed?. Macbeth says ?this is a sorry sight.? Because of this way

in which she does not see the consequences of her actions she breaks

down and becomes ill before dying? just

prior to the end of the play.Conclusion I believe that no one

is solely to blame because, as I have explained in my essay there are many

key factors in the downfall of Macbeth. If you were to take any one

characters role out of the play I don?t believe that any of the murders would have

taken place and hence Macbeth would not have become king and fallen to


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