Factors That Cause Macbeth's Downfall .

Essay by furiousdHigh School, 11th gradeA-, May 2003

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Factors That Cause Macbeth's Downfall

In any literary tragedy, the protagonist always ends up in a bad situation through a series of unfortunate events. In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the central character, Macbeth, is a good example of this. Macbeth has many forces behind him that lead him into events that eventually cause his downfall. The most important forces are supernatural influences, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth himself.

To begin, one of these factors is the supernatural influence that Macbeth experiences. The first supernatural factors are the witches and their prophecies. When the witches first speak to Macbeth they say, "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! ... hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! ... All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter."(1.3.50-53). After hearing the prophecies, Macbeth thinks that, "This supernatural soliciting/ Cannot be ill; cannot be good: if ill, / Why hath it given me earnest of success, / Commencing in a truth? ..."(1.3.140-143).

Macbeth believes the prophecies, and they fuel his ambition. They cause him to try to fulfill their promises no matter what it takes. This disregard for anything except power leads to his death, because he has to lose many friends and allies to obtain his goal. Similarly, the hallucinations Macbeth sees and his insanity are supernatural forces behind Macbeth. Immediately before Macbeth kills Duncan he says to himself, "Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee."(2.1.40-41). After Banquo is killed, Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost and says, "Avaunt! and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!"(3.4.113-114). Macbeth is becoming insane and he starts to see hallucinations which lead him to commit evil deeds. These evil deeds turn out to cause his death. Therefore, supernatural influences have a large...