King Duncan’s Murder And Macbeth’s Downfall Were Whose Faults?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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Macbeth was written in the 1600's during King James 1st reign. Shakespeare knew that the King was particularly interested in witchcraft (he had even written books on it!) so he saw this play as an opportunity to intrigue him. Shakespeare adopted the play from a true story, changing key factors; (such as to what extent Macbeth had fallen) "“ as King Duncan (from the play) was actually one of James 1st ancestors.

Macbeth is a tragic story about a brave and respected thane who is misled by the prophesies of three weird sisters. The prospect of Macbeth becoming King pushed, not only Macbeth, but particularly his wife into plotting the murder of King Duncan in order to gain the throne. Precisely, Lady Macbeth planned the murder and "˜the deed was done'.

From this point on in the play we start to see many patterns emerging (e.g. the decline of Macbeth and the distance forming in his relationship with Lady Macbeth).

In this essay I aim to decide where the blame should be placed for Macbeth's downfall. I am also going to study the different events that contributed to his decline.

The main characters, who each contributed to Macbeth's downfall are; The Three Weird Sisters, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself. Each are responsible for different reasons, studied below.

Lady Macbeth does not represent a typical woman in the 1600's. She is very independent and wants power even though, in those times, it was impossible for a woman to achieve this on her own, "˜Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here, and fill me from the crowd to the toe top-full of direst cruelty'. "“ The only way she could gain any "˜true' authority would be through her husband, Macbeth. She not only wanted Macbeth to be King,