He says “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’other”(ActⅠScene ⅶ) Macbeth has enough self-awareness to realize the dangers of killing the king yet his temptation to complete the prophecy is too strong. Another example of ambition is when Lady Macbeth plans the murder of Duncan and continually urges Macbeth to do it in order to fulfill the prophecy and desire. Lady Macbeth puts aside her reasoning and lets her temptation run her actions. Ambition is what drives the both of them to commit such atrocities. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wanted to be powerful so bad that they were willing to compromise their morals in order to be successful.
This conveys that Macbeth simply killed Duncan because his of his wife’s cunning, and for fear of her, he was persuaded. In addition, we have already seen that the prophesying of Macbeth’s downfall only led him to murder Banquo and Macduff’s family because he feared losing all he had won. Banquo seemed the last obstacle in his way after hearing only the first prophecy because his sons would receive the throne, so Macbeth tried to kill him and his son out of fear of losing his
The first murder of King Duncan only sealed Macbeth’s paranoia and served as a foundation for the murders of Banquo and Macduff’s family. After the first murder, Macbeth feels a colossal amount of guilt and shame. After the murder of Banquo, he feels that it is not enough since Fleance escaped, developing his guilt and shame of harming others into a fear for his own safety; a devastating degradation. However, during the assassination of Macduff’s family, Macbeth gives the command immediately without thought and without a trace of remorse after doing so. This thereby concludes his psychological downfall as he no longer feels guilty, ashamed, or fears
“O, I could play the woman with mine eyes, and braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens, cut short all intermission; front to front bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself; Within my sword's length, set him...” (Shakespeare Act IV, Scene III). Macduff decides to kill Macbeth after he learns of the the death of his family at the hands of Macbeth. If Macbeth hadn’t been as ambitious or power hungry, and desperate to stay on the throne, he might not have died, as Macduff did not want to attack until after he heard the news of his family's demise. Conclusively, Macbeth’s ambition, and his need to get and maintain power, resulted in his own downfall, thus meeting the second requirement of the classical definition of a tragic
This shows that Macbeth is thoughtful and that he knows that he should be protecting the king, not murdering him in his house. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to indicate to the audience the inner struggles of Macbeth and what his thoughts and feelings are, which reveal that he is feeling indecisive and nervous. The witches play a major part in this, as they were the ones who were pulling the strings and planted the seeds into Macbeth’s mind. They tempt him with prophecies of him being the new “Thane of Cawdor” and how he will “shalt be king hereafter”. By playing on Macbeth’s deepest ambition, it brought forth thoughts of evil and as a result, it leads Macbeth down a violent path.
There are many reasons a once great man may fall. Hubris leads Macbeth into taking far too courageous actions, his lack of questioning makes him blind, and his own actions lay the blame of the Murder solely on his shoulders. While most can agree Lady Macbeth had her part in persuading him, one cannot blame her for the act simply because she wanted it to happen. Macbeth is the murderer, his wife didn't make one. Macbeth is firstly at fault due to his own hubris.
“One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success.” - Paolo Freire Many contest the nature of Macbeth’s murderous actions in Shakespeare’s Macbeth—whether they were committed in a sound state of mind or controlled by external influences. [Comparison] Macbeth’s actions were executed in a mindless state where the only factors that could determine his future deeds were his prophecies from the witches and his manipulative wife. Both gain Macbeth’s trust, though the witches exploit his indivisible faith in the supernatural, whereas Lady macbeth utilizes her womanly qualities as his wife and his equal to gain control of Macbeth’s conscience. [Conclusion] Viraginous(?) Lady Macbeth is arguably the strongest influence on Macbeth’s actions.
Macbeth did not make the most exceptional decisions in his life. He has the chance to avoid all of that by letting things be, but his thirst for power is stronger. When Macbeth murdered King Duncan, he did everything he could to prevent someone from finding out his secret. “Thou hast it now-- King, Cawdor, Glamis, all/ As the weird women promised, and I fear/ Thou played’st most foully for’t.” (3.1.1-3). Many people suspect of Macbeth, especially Banquo.
Just to get what she wanted, she did convince macbeth to commit crimes, but Macbeth is still the person with the last word. He cannot do anything by himself because he is scared, but when his wife helps him out, she herself does not wish to kill anyone. The one who commits the crime pays the price. Macbeth is the only murderer since he was the one who always ordered the murderers to kill whomever he disliked. Macbeth also has no mercy when he sent out the men to kill Macduff's family.
As tragic as Macbeth becomes through the play, his paranoia is also a factor that leads to his ultimate downfall, morally and physically. Macbeth, now a traitor after the assassination of the king, is paranoid of anybody who may threaten his position or how he attained it. After killing the king, Macbeth’s conscience is guilt-ridden and he is no longer able to sleep peacefully. His only worry is that someone may be plotting his murder, just as he strategized the death of the former King. If there was nothing stopping Macbeth from killing Duncan and committing treason, who is to say that no one else will make the same decision, killing Macbeth?