Macbeth's Demise Essay

1515 words - 7 pages

Macbeth's Own DemiseA serious play with a tragic theme, often involving a heroic struggle and the downfall of the main character would be classified as a tragedy. Shakespeare's Macbeth is one of the most famous tragic plays ever written. The tragedy of the play is quite ironic in the way that Macbeth causes his own demise through his conscious choices leading up to Banquo's death and his horrible guilt after he commits the crime.Macbeth makes quite a few decisions while plotting the death of King Duncan and Banquo. Although his wife, Lady Macbeth, has much influence on his decisions, Macbeth still chooses to perform these acts on his own accord. The murder of King Duncan is plotted by ...view middle of the document...

He refuses to go back into the room, so she takes the daggers into the room herself, saying that she would be ashamed to be as cowardly as Macbeth. As she leaves, Macbeth hears a mysterious knocking. The portentous sound frightens him, and he asks desperately, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?" (2.2.58-59). As Lady Macbeth reenters the hall, the knocking comes again, and then a third time. She leads her husband back to the bedchamber, where he can wash off the blood. "A little water clears us of this deed," she tells him. "How easy it is then!" (2.2.65-66). Macbeth recognizes what he had done which is why he feels the need to clean himself of the blood. His cleansing of the blood is also symbolic of Macbeth trying to rid of his guilt from committing the crime. If he was innocent of this murder, then he would not feel the need to cleanse himself. Now that the king and chamberlains are all dead, Macbeth assumes kingship and his long time friend, Banquo, starts to become suspicious of these murders committed in the night.At this point, Banquo's knowledge of the witches' prophecy makes him both a potential ally and a potential threat to Macbeth's plotting. For now, Macbeth seems distrustful of Banquo and pretends to have hardly thought of the witches, but Macbeth's desire to discuss the prophecies at some future time suggests that he may have some sort of conspiratorial plans in mind. In Act 3, Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo in the night while he and his son Fleance are trying to flee from the castle. The murderers then leave Banquo's body and find Macbeth to tell him what happened. After his first confrontation with the witches, Macbeth worried that he would have to commit a murder to gain the Scottish crown. He seems to have gotten used to the idea, as by this point the body count has risen to alarming levels. Now that the first part of the witches' prophecy has come true, Macbeth feels that he must kill his friend Banquo and the young Fleance in order to prevent the second part from becoming realized. But, as Fleance's survival suggests, there can be no escape from the witches' prophecies (Act 3). Macbeth is guilty of killing Banquo because he specifically hired men to do it for him and he planned out how the murder was going to be accomplished. Not only did Macbeth specifically plan out the murders of these two men, King Duncan and Banquo, but it also becomes clear that his guilt from these murders proves his actions to be true.Macbeth's guilt is shown through several incidents after the murders took place. During a dinner held in Macbeth's castle, he goes to sit at the head of the royal table but finds Banquo's ghost sitting in his chair. Horror-struck, Macbeth speaks to the ghost, which is invisible to the rest of the company. Lady Macbeth makes excuses for her husband, saying that he occasionally has such "visions" and that the guests should simply ignore...

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