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Sharing the Blame in Macbeth The great Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth is a tale about a Scottish Thane, Macbeth, who, seemingly according to a prophecy of witches, becomes Thane of Cawdor, and King. And because Macbeth has gained his throne through deceit and treacherous ways, he loses it. The blame for the downfall of Macbeth lies with Macbeth himself, Lady Macbeth and the witches. Enter the first act, second scene. We see good King Duncan and his Thanes, talk about the outcome of a war well won.
(320) Blanche Coles states in Shakespeare's Four Giants the place of Fate in Macbeth's life: Then, like a cog slipping naturally into its own notch, his thoughts turn to the Witches and their prophecy, and he concludes that he has defiled his mind for the descendants of Banquo he has murdered the gracious Duncan for them; he has poisoned his own peace of mind and given his immortal soul (eternal jewel) to the devil, the common enemy of man - all this to make the descendants of Banquo kings! Rather than face such an outcome, he challenges Fate to enter the lists with him against Banquo and champion him to the last extremity, even though that extremity be death itself. (57) In Fools of Time: Studies in Shakespearean Tragedy, Northrop Frye stresses the connection between the witches and fate: The successful ruler is a combination ... ... middle of paper ... ...uin Books, 1991. Coles, Blanche. Shakespeare's Four Giants.
“My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, [s]hakes so my single state of man” (Shakespeare 1.3.152-53). This uncertainty, present in the scenes of Duncan’s murder, the feast, and the witch’s final predictions each unfold the ambiguity needed to understand the basis of the work as a whole. After the first prediction comes true the reader starts to see a difference in Macbeth’s entire attitude. Throughout the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen as a valiant and great nobleman, however, when Macbeth receives news that there is a chance for him to rise to great power he conspires to murder the current king to gain the throne. Although the thought of killing Duncan at first is subtle, it grows into a more bl... ... middle of paper ... ...it by his wife, Macbeth is plagued with guilt when he sees Banquo’s apparition, and him being panic-stricken by the prophecy all exhibit the fallacy of Macbeth’s character.
Shakespeare's Four Giants. Rindge, NH: Richard R. Smith Publisher, Inc., 1957. Coursen, H. R. Macbeth: a Guide to the Play. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1997. Frye, Northrop.
The witches Prophecy upon Macbeth cause him to feel restless and have thoughts about if it is destined for him to become king. Macbeth ends up going through with the murder of Duncan. After the murder takes place, Macbeth’s morals and his judgement begin to become opaque. Guilt commences Macbeth an... ... middle of paper ... ...itant about making the prophecy of killing Duncan a reality until, Lady Macbeth makes him feel un masqulin. Macbeth now convinced that he must prove his manliness by becoming king and he must make this happen by murdering Duncan.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth constructs a ploy to become king by having King Duncan murdered. Macbeth then frequently experiences strange visions and thoughts driven by his imagination as he is going insane. These experiences play a large role in slowly deteriorating Macbeth’s mental sanity and life. Macbeth is proclaimed Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and “King hereafter” when he first has an encounter with the three witches (I, iii, 50). Macbeth became Thane of Glamis with Sinel’s death and then became Thane of Cawdor after the previous Thane of Cawdor was overthrown, but Macbeth did not know why he was declared to be “King hereafter” by the witches.