The Downfall of Macbeth

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The Downfall of Macbeth Macbeth is victorious; he has just returned from the battle ground as a brutal warrior; courageous, but what is more, heroic. At this point in the play, Macbeth's reputation is rapidly growing with the rampant spread of the word of his good deeds at war. This climaxes when his actions are acknowledged and rewarded by the title given to him by King Duncan, 'No more that thane of Cawdor doth deceive our bosom interest. - Go, pronounce his present death, and with his former title greet Macbeth.' At this time, Macbeth is entirely content with his position and his circumstances. He has not stopped to contemplate how much he can achieve and explore his limitations. Instead he fights for what he believes in, his morals; to defend his country from foe. He is fighting for his King, not questioning his authority or plotting against him. It is only upon meeting the witches that he opens his mind to the possibilities laid before him. Only then does he consider that his future lies in greater realms, beyond Thane of Cawdor. It is the witches prophecy, 'All hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!' 'All hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!' All hail, Macbeth! That shall be king hereafter.' that initially makes Macbeth start. He is not altogether sure of his beliefs in the supernatural world and hence is uncertain whether the greeting is truth, foreseen by those with paranormal talent, or merely enthusiasm shown by people who have heard about his recent success. He does not know how to react and does not shrug the praise off, but expresses fear at the implications of the greeting. Banquo sees his friend is taken aback and asks, 'Good Si... ... middle of paper ... ...with the blood of his king; and the blood stain would not fade with any amount of washing. Knowing this left him detesting himself and the fear trapped within his mind. Living with the dread became impossible and eventually he was no longer in control of his own destiny; but became the subject of his own fear. Sources Cited and Consulted: Clark, W.G., and W. Aldis Wirhgt, eds. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Vol 2. USA: Nd. 2 vols. McElroy, Bernard, "`Macbeth': Corruption" in Shakespearean Criticism, Volume 3. Edited by Laurie Harris (Gale:1984) Swisher, Clarice, ed. Readings on Macbeth. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Macbeth." Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. The British Tradition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall 1999.
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