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The Downward Spiral of Macbeth

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The play Macbeth traces the character Macbeth's downward spiral from a brave, loyal soldier, to an ambitious, cold blooded murderer. Macbeth is the warrior hero in King Duncan's Scottish army. He is spoken of with great admiration. Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis because of his courage and valor. He is loved for his loyalty to King Duncan, and his bravery on the battlefield. Macbeth further proves his bravery and loyalty when he defeats the rebel, Macdonald. The King rewards Macbeth by naming him Thane of Cawdor. There are many factors which contribute to Macbeth's spiral downfall. The three main factors which contribute greatly to Macbeth's decline is the prophecies told to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and ability to manipulate Macbeth's judgment, and finally Macbeth's own ambition which drove his desire to be King.

First, Macbeth and Banquo's encounter with the three witches begin Macbeth's decline. On their way to the King's court, Macbeth and Banquo come upon the witches. The witches hail Macbeth the Thane of Glamis and the Thane of Cawdor. They also declare Macbeth will be king one day. The witches tell Banquo he will never be king, but his descendants will. When Ross tells Macbeth the king has made him Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth is amazed the witches' prophecy has come true. The witches prophecies stir Macbeth's thoughts to the possibility of becoming king which leads him toward evil. He never would have thought of killing the king before hearing the witches prophecies. Without hesitation, he murders the king's chamberlains out of false revenge. After murdering the King, Macbeth next focuses his attention on the witches prophecy to Banquo. He realizes he must kill Banquo and his son Fleance to prevent Banquo's...

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...be king and stay king only to gratify his own desires and ambitions. No one or nothing will stand in his way. Even at the end of the play when Macbeth knows he is doomed, he continues fighting with Macduff. His false sense of unending ambition results in his own death.

In conclusion, the character Macbeth spirals downward from a brave, loyal soldier, to an ambitious, cold blooded murderer. The three specific factors contributing to Macbeth's downfall is the prophecies of the witches, Lady Macbeth's influence and manipulation, and finally Macbeth's own selfish ambition. Each are to blame. From the witches first prophecy Macbeth will be king, to Lady Macbeth's plan to kill the king, to Macbeth's ambitious character, each contribute to Macbeth's decline. From the loyal Thane of Glamis, to the tyrant King of Scotland, Macbeth's downward spiral causes in his own death.
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