Influences That Lead to Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Influences That Lead to Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Macbeth is a play written by the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. The play was started around 1603 but was only finished in 1606. The play is a tragedy and is one of the darkest of Shakespeare's plays ever written. The play was originally written for King James I when he came to the throne of England after Elizabeth had died. Banquo, one of the characters in the play, is based upon one of the Kings ancestors. The play is set in ancient Scotland where witches roam the land and war is in the air as Norway try to invade Scotland. Witches are a big part in this play, especially as in Elizabethan time, when the play was written, the belief in witchcraft was vast. Many people were drowned and burnt because they were thought to be witches. Any earthquake, hurricane or unexplainable happenings were blamed on witches. Males act out all of the characters in Macbeth, as all actors in Shakespeare's time were male. The play begins with three witches who would have possibly changed from stones into human form. They would be wearing old cloth rags and appear old and crooked with a few warts. The witches speak, in short sentences and riddles like, "…foul is fair as fair is foul…" They all huddle together and immediately involve Macbeth, "There to meet with Macbeth!" This involvement of Macbeth with witches so early on in the play invokes the idea that Macbeth might be evil. This contrast between Evil and Macbeth is echoed in the next scene where there is a big bloody battle and a valiant and courageous Macbeth battles his way through an flood of soldiers, the Nor... ... middle of paper ... ...te the imagery he wants, for instance when Macbeth says: "Light thickens, and the crow makes wing to th'rocky wood" This gives the image of night seeping through the day and a crow making flight to a spooky, bare, dead looking wood. Shakespeare uses a lot a writing devices in this play such as soliloquies, "If it were done…" and metaphors "…daggers in men's smiles." In Elizabethan times its is believed that there is a pathway through life, Macbeth tried to change this path and so his life was damned anyway and his downfall was bound to happen. The main influences on Macbeth came from the witches, for their prophecies, Lady Macbeth, for persuading Macbeth to kill, Banquo and Macduff, for not standing out and stopping him, and King Duncan for making the first of the witches prophecies come true.

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