Hyperbole In Macbeth

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EXAMINE HOW MACBETH’S ACTIONS LED TO HIS OWN DOWNFALL

Throughout Shakespeare’s Macbeth it becomes evident that Macbeth’s demise as the tragic hero occurs as a consequence of his own actions. Macbeth examines themes of overarching ambition, changing and controlling fate, and disruptions in the natural order. These ideas are exemplified through Macbeth’s characterisation as the tragic hero, through the emphasis that is placed upon his hamartia and through the evidence of his attempts to change his fate. This is supported through Act 1, Scene 7 as Macbeth encounters the witches and his fatal flaw is exposed, throughout Act 3 as the disparity of Macbeth’s morality and psychological state progressively declines, resulting in his eventual demise
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Throughout Act 3, Macbeth has essentially lost all moral direction, reasoning, and self control, thus signifying the escalating eventuality of his demise. Moreover, in Act 3 Scene 4, after Macbeth kills and then hallucinates Banquo, he states to Lady Macbeth ‘I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as to go o’er’. The use of grotesque hyperbole communicates the unnatural occurrences that represent moral corruption, and the symbolism of blood links to Macbeth’s guilt as a stain on his conscience. This also conveys that though Macbeth is aware that his own actions have resulted in the disintegration of his sanity, he remains willing to continue to commit crimes and take immoral action to ensure he maintains power. Macbeth is now enduring the repercussions of his actions, and by attempting to alter the future by murdering Banquo, he has become tormented and anguished, and his guilt has begun permeating every aspect of his life. In addition, the blood motif metaphorically represents the fateful choices of Macbeth and alludes to his inevitable death. Macbeth is now acknowledging the fact that he has no choice but to progress, and through his attempts to disrupt the natural order, the idea that Macbeth’s downfall occurs as a repercussion for his own decisions is…show more content…
Within Act 4, Scene 1, he states ‘From this moment, the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand’. The repetition of the word ‘firstlings’ conveys that Macbeth is no longer debating the pros and cons of taking immoral action, but instead he is senselessly causing chaos and destruction, and that he is unable to think rationally and calmly. When he kills MacDuff’s wife and children, it is apparent that Macbeth is behaving erratically and impulsively in order to maintain some semblance of power and control. He has reached the epitome of his villainy as this is the final example of the utter degradation of his character. Obviously, Macbeth’s own actions have resulted in the tragedy of his demise. Shakespeare has represented the downfall of a once great man, however, Macbeth maintains redeeming qualities in order to engage the audience and evoke sympathy. This is reflected in Act 5 when Macbeth refuses to fight MacDuff, saying ‘My soul is much too charged with blood of thine already’. His courageous refusal to spill anymore blood of MacDuff’s family enables the audience to sympathise with Macbeth, and the use of emotive language thereby invokes a sense of devastation when he eventually reaches his death. Evidently, Macbeth’s actions were pivotal in the preceding
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