Macbeth tells the story of a man who rises to a great position of power by immoral methods, and then meets his demise for thewrongs that he had committed. But he was not completely to blame for his fall from power. There were some extenuatingcircumstances. Macbeth was an ambitious, yet gullible warrior who was easily manipulated by those who had the intelligence todo so. The first people to shift his thinking were the three witches. As he and Banquo, Macbeth s friend, are returning from abattle to meet with the king, Duncan, the three witches approach them. There they make three prophecies. The last one that hewill be the king. Macbeth, duped into believing this, sets about conspiring to murder Duncan and take the throne. However, atone point he does not believe that he is up to the task, so his wife convinces him to do it, by criticising his manhood. That isanother example of how he can be manipulated. If he had not killed the king, he would have lived a much longer, and probablyhappier life. But there are also things that Macbeth himself does that lead to his demise. He has Banquo murdered because he sees him as athreat; as Banquo was present when the prophecies about being king were delivered. Consequently, the Ghost of Banquoappears, which is part of the cause of Macbeth s madness. Another thing which he does is kill Macduff s family, because hesees him as a threat as well. This makes Macduff seek vengeance. This shows that for every hostile action that Macbeth makes,there are consequences which will ultimately lead to his undoing. One of the biggest problems that Macbeth had was that he took everything that the witches told him at face value, and wasn t
aware that they were using him all along. After time, he becomes reliant on the three hags for information. When he goes tosee them in a cave, three apparitions appear to give him three warnings. The first one says to beware Macduff. Beware theThane of Fife. In the end Macduff kills Macbeth. The second apparition says that none of woman born shall harmMacbeth. Macbeth immediately assumes that everyone is born from a woman and therefore no one can harm him. When infact, the statement was more of play on words, as Macduff was untimely ripped from his mother s womb. Macbeth has noidea of this, so of course he fears nothing. Then the third apparition states that Macbeth shall never vanquished be, untilGreat Birnam Wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him. Macbeth thinks that this means the forest would haveto unfix his earth-bound root before he will be defeated. Later on, as his army is deserting him, he is overconfident andwon t fear anything unless Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane. However, when the rebel forces arrive, Malcolm orderseveryone to cut down a branch from the wood and carry it before them so that they shadow the numbers of our host, andmake discovery err in report of us. In the end it is fairly easy to say that Macbeth s downfall was mostly his fault. He was ambitious, overconfident and easy to bedeceived. He shouldn t have been so quick to believe what the three witches told him. They were, in the end, only after his soul.But you can t blame all of what happened on the witches or Lady Macbeth, either. One should ultimately be held responsiblefor their own actions.
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