Macbeth - Downfall Of A Hero

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Macbeth’s strive for power affects every aspect of his life, and this motivation eventually leads to his demise. Many different factors play a pivotal role in deciding his ill-fated future. With his wife’s cajoling, and the three witches’ foretelling of his future Macbeth, will stop at nothing to gain position as King of Scotland.

The witches and their prophecies are the first major influence on Macbeth’s actions. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis is content with his position, until the three witches tell him, "hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor, thou shalt be King hereafter." (I, iii.). After hearing this, Macbeth and Banquo, his loyal friend, find out that King Duncan has named Macbeth "Thane of Cawdor." They contemplate about how the rest of the prophecy will come true. The witches also advise them that Banquo’s son would be King one day. Macbeth writes a letter to Lady Macbeth explaining what has happened.

Macbeth comes to the realization that for him to in fact become King, he will have to defeat recently named heir to the throne, Malcolm, the King’s son, and also prevent Banqou’s son from gaining access to the throne. Macbeth returns home and he and his wife must play host to the King. Lady Macbeth begins to contemplate what "impedes thee from the golden round" (I, v). She desperately wants her Macbeth to be King and she calls upon the "aids of sprits"(I, v) to help her in her quest for the throne.

Lady Macbeth requests that the, "sprits that tend on mortal thoughts," to unsex her, and fill her with the "direst cruelty…" (I, v.). The supernatural world will aid her in the hardening of her heart and make it possible for her to carry out her malicious plan. Lady Macbeth wishes to throw out her morality for the sake of gaining a title. With the help of invisible sprits, she wants to make herself able to commit a heinous act of murder to make her dreams of the royal life come true, without having reservations or remorse. She approaches Macbeth with her intent to kill King Duncan. Macbeth, although wanting the prophecy to come true, and become king, lacks the enthusiasm as his wife does, to commit the murder. Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to act on his desires or he will think of himself as a coward.

King Duncan is invited to Macbeth’s castle, and it is there that he will be killed.
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