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Due to the

nature of Macbeth?s downfall it would be difficult to blame a single person for

his downfall. The main characters that were at fault in Macbeth?s downfall were

The Witches, Lady Macbeth and of course Macbeth himself but who is to blame the

most out of the three? The Witches played a big part in Macbeth’s downfall, as

they were the first characters who influenced Macbeth as they met him at the

start of the story. The Witches were determined from the start to influence

Macbeth?s way in life, they intended to meet with him from the start to begin

the downfall of Macbeth, ?There to meet with Macbeth?. Before they started

putting ideas into his head they had to make sure that he was willing to listen

to them so they waited until he was sure of his abilities, so they only started

influencing him after the battle against Norway where he shone. As Macbeth

would not normally listen to the telling of the Witches, they had to cleverly

mix the truth and things that had not happened yet to gain his confidence. They

influenced Macbeth?s first thoughts of killing Duncan as they first told him

that he would be Thane of Cawdor, and he already was but he did not know yet.

They then said that he will be King, that would have triggered his thoughts

later on when he found out he was Thane of Cawdor. ?All hail Macbeth, hail to

thee, Thane of Glamis, hail to thee Thane of Cawdor, All hail Macbeth, that

shalt be King hereafter?. Although they did not directly tell Macbeth to kill

King Duncan it gave him the idea. After Macbeth received the news that he was

Thane of Cawdor he built a trust with the Witches as he now thought they were

right about everything. Macbeth then thought about becoming King, he partially

expected Duncan to name him as King until he picked Malcolm ?The Prince of

Cumberland, that is a step I must o?erleap?.?

He then knew he was not within a chance of becoming King.. The Witches

are determined to let Macbeth complete his ?tasks? that they have set him, so

they indirectly tell Macbeth to kill Banquo by telling Macbeth that Banquo?s

sons will be Kings. This prevents Banquo stopping Macbeth when he might have.

The Witches also stop Macbeth from wanting to walk out on this by making him

overconfident by telling him that ?none of woman born shall harm Macbeth?. They

also tell him that ? Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam wood

to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him?. These predictions make Macbeth

overconfident, as he believes that these things are impossible realistically.

But he does not think of what they may really mean. This then leads to the

death of Macbeth in the final act as Macbeth prepares to fight the English army

lead by Malcolm. The English army camouflage themselves using branches from

Great Birnam wood so that it appears that the forest is moving up to Dunsinane

hill. Macbeth is finally killed by Macduff who was born by a Caesarean

operation and therefore he was not of woman born. The Witches played a big part in Macbeth?s downfall as they

kept Macbeth going but at the same time confused him into thinking that he was

invincible but he was clearly not.?? Unlike the Witches Lady Macbeth did not set out to ruin

Macbeth’s life, she did not contribute to Macbeth’s downfall until after the

meeting with the witches. But Lady Macbeth on the other hand has a more direct

influence on Macbeth, as she is closer to him. From the start we learn that she

is more powerfully minded than Macbeth is as she is more committed to Macbeth

becoming King than Macbeth himself. In fact she convinces Macbeth to kill King

Duncan when he starts having second thoughts about it. Lady Macbeth receives a

letter from Macbeth where he states he is having thoughts of killing Duncan but

he does not say that he will. Lady Macbeth decides to take the matter into her

own hands because she wants a better title for herself. She is stronger minded

than Macbeth as she knows that although Macbeth is an ambitious person he is

too noble to do such a thing as kill the King. But when she finds out about

King Duncan is coming to stay she straight away decides that this would be the

perfect moment for Macbeth to fulfil his predictions. But when she tells

Macbeth this he is not as willing to participate as Lady Macbeth is, in fact when

she mentions the idea of murder to him he replies by saying ?We will speak

further?. This means he had to think the whole thing over, as he was not sure

about the whole ordeal. But when he has considered the murder he replies ?We

will proceed no further in this business?. This angers Lady Macbeth so she puts

him in a difficult position to make him reconsider. She does this by

questioning his manhood, ?When you durst do it then you were a man?. She also

uses the most powerful imagery to persuade him, ?I have given suck, and know

how tender ?tis to love the babe that milks me I would while it was smiling in

my face have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains

out, had I sworn as you have done this?. These clever and powerful mind games she plays with Macbeth

finally convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Although Lady Macbeth was

stronger minded she still was not willing to kill Duncan herself. She made

Macbeth do the dirty work the only real part she played in the murder of Duncan

was that after Macbeth killed Duncan she went back with the daggers put them in

the hands of the grooms and smeared them with Duncan?s blood. Lady Macbeth does not play such a big part in Macbeth?s

downfall even though she convinces Macbeth to kill King Duncan. This is because

after this she influences Macbeth less and less. The only other thing she does

after the murder of Duncan that influenced Macbeth, was when she went crazy and

eventually killed herself. This would have especially affected his moral as after

her death everything went downhill for Macbeth. Macbeth starts of the story being a completely different

person to the one he is come the end of the story. At the beginning he is a

strong brave person who is well respected by his fellow countrymen. He has a

strong marriage and has many friends and therefore is loved by many. But this

is later shadowed by the evil inside, which is released by the Witches. Macbeth

is a good person but the Witches reflect the evil in Macbeth. When Macbeth

meets up with the Witches at the beginning Banquo dismisses what the Witches

have to say whilst Macbeth does the opposite and he listens to the preaching of

them. Macbeth takes into account everything the Witches have to say and acts on

what they have to say. Anything they mention to him he acts on with violence,

he becomes too alert with what could happen and he does not think he just acts

on instincts. They tell him to beware Macduff so Macbeth butchers ?his wife,

children, servants, all that could be found?. But the influence of the Witches

becomes less and less as the story progresses. ?From the start

Macbeth is not as committed to the murder of Duncan as Lady Macbeth is, this is

because Macbeth is too noble and loyal towards Duncan. But when he finally

kills Duncan his wife is driven mad by the guilt. You can tell he was weak

minded at the start of the story as he hallucinates on his way to kill Duncan

?Is this a dagger which I see before me??. Also when Banquo is killed he

hallucinates Banquo?s ghost coming to haunt him and makes a mockery of himself

in front of his guests. But after the death of King Duncan it only spurs

Macbeth on to more evil deeds. He is corrupt and slaughters all that get in his

way, he is told that Banquo?s sons will be kings so he kills his close friend

Banquo. He then tells Lady Macbeth that he has arranged to kill Banquo and he

comments that she ?marvell?st at my words?. This shows that Lady Macbeth

realises the sudden change in Macbeth?s ways. Hesitancy gives way to an

enjoyment of violence. He becomes a tyrant he is obsessed with killing he

instructs his soldiers to, ?hang those who talk of fear? and he threatens to

hang until he starves the servant who brings the news of Birnam wood to

Dunsinane hill if he is telling the truth. Macbeth is too ambitious to realise

that he will die in the final battle as what the Witches told him has given him

a strong belief in his personal abilities. But when he remembers what the

Witches said about Birnam wood and it actually comes true he nearly gives up hope

especially when his wife kills herself. The one thing that keeps him going is

that ?none of woman born shall harm Macbeth?, but when Macduff tells him he

?was from his mothers womb untimely ripped?, he realises he has no chance of

defeating Macduff and he is therefore killed. The Witches played a larger part in the downfall of Macbeth

than Lady Macbeth did, but Macbeth?s belief in personal abilities puts the

greater share of the blame on Macbeth himself. Macbeth?s ambition made him

blind to the other side of what the Witches had to say. As he was ambitious

when things went his way after the telling of the Witches he made himself

believe that he was invincible and refused to think of the consequences of the

things he did.?????


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