Witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's Responsibility for Macbeth’s Downfall

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Witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's Responsibility for Macbeth’s Downfall

Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth shows the downfall of a wrongfully

crowned king. But his downfall is not solely due to himself. There are

other characters in the play that are part of his downfall. If it

weren’t for them, the play would not work. They are part of a chain,

one leading to another. The play would not have ended in the same

manner, even if one of these characters hadn’t played their part. They

all affect each other and Macbeth’s tragic end is the outcome.

The first set of characters that affect Macbeth and begin the chain

are the witches. From the very first scene we can see that they want

Macbeth’s end to be a tragedy. In the first scene they intend to go,

“There to meet Macbeth”, which implies that the witches don’t just

happen to meet him. They want to go and meet him, they organise, plot

and scheme to go and meet him. This shows that it is important for the

witches to see Macbeth. The Victorians were very superstitious and

would believe that witches scheme and plot in malevolence ways. So the

image of the witches on stage would immediately spur the feeling of

evil and automatically set the atmosphere desired by Shakespeare. So

the audience would certainly suspect the witches’ intentions are


Two scenes later when Macbeth and Banquo encounter the witches for the

first time on the heath, the witches don’t tell him anything directly.

All they do is greet him,

“1st Witch: All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!”

This is his current title.

“2nd Witch: All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!”

Which he doe...

... middle of paper ... declaration to

create the right reactions. Then the outcome of the reactions led to

his down fall.

But in the end I think that Macbeth is the one most greatly

responsible for his own downfall. I think that Shakespeare has

effectively displayed the events to show that it is ultimately

Macbeth’s responsibility. I think that this is what Shakespeare was

trying to depict in this tragic play. The witches and Lady Macbeth

both affect Macbeth and lead him to his end, but at any point in the

play, he could stop. He could say no, and the ending would be a whole

much more pleasant than how it ends. Ultimately he made his own

decisions and the outcome to these decisions led to his death. So I

think that although he is predisposed by other characters in the play

he is mainly conscientious for his own downfall.
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