MacBeth - Disastrous Attributes

Essay by sony25High School, 11th grade October 2002

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Character or fate. Which of these two forces (external or internal)

led to the downward fall of a great military hero and worthy Thane,

Macbeth, turned evil and murderous when led astray by the prophecies of

three old witches. Some people argue that Macbeth is the victim of

fate, while others argue that his character decides his downfall. The

argument for fate is strongly led by the actions of others, with Lady

Macbeth being the prime influence on Macbeth. While the opposition is

led by Macbeth^s troubled conscience, his own internal conflict and his

hamartia. It is clearly visible that Macbeth^s own character is at

fault for his tragic downfall. It is the opinion of many, that Macbeth

is a victim of fate. These critics state that Macbeth is heavily

influenced by his overpowering wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth decides that

he cannot kill Duncan as he is his "kinsman, and his subject"(Act

1,Scene 7: 13) yet Lady Macbeth taunts him saying:

"I have given suck, and know

How tender ^Ñtis to love the babe that milks me :

I would, while it was smiling in my face

Have pluck^Òd my nipple from his bone less gums,

And dash^Òd the brains out, had I so sworn

As you have done to this" (Act 1, Scene 7: 54-59)

This graphic view of the extent to which Lady Macbeth would go to keep

a promise would have been more accepted in our society than in that of

Shakespeare. In the days of Shakespeare, women had no business

arguing with their husbands and even less often was their argument or

threat taken into consideration. Men were the "be-all" and "end-all"

and this speech made by Lady Macbeth would have been of little

persuasion. The Macbeth of Shakespeare was a...