This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Macbeth's Downfall In William Shakespeare's Play

3216 words - 13 pages

Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Play

'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare is a play set in 1040 about a
Scottish general named Macbeth. It explores the transformation and
effect of his ambition upon his life. Although it is set in 1040, it
is written in the 1606 under the reign of James 1st. James' very
recent accession to the English throne would have been of great
contemporary importance and a play which focuses on Kingship would
have roused interest too.

The first characters we are introduced to in the opening of the play
are the witches. The witches immediately give the sense of a
supernatural presence that creates fear and confusion for the
audience, who would at that time have believed in witches. The witches
use rhyming blank verse:

'When shall we three meet again

In thunder, lightening, or in rain?'

This rhyming blank verse stands out from the blank verse spoken by the
other characters. This line in the play also emphasizes that whenever
the witches 'meet' or appear there is always 'thunder', 'lightening'
and 'rain,' this links with the stage directions that also change to
'thunder and lightening' whenever the witches appear. This emphasizes
that with the chaotic change of weather in the natural world it breeds
unnatural beings. The witches speak in rhymed verse combining
alliteration and assonance also to emphasize that they are
supernatural beings:

'Double double toil and trouble;

fire burn, and cauldron bubble'

In addition to the rhyming verse the witches also use language of
contradiction, 'fair, is foul and foul is fair,' and 'lesser then
Macbeth and greater.' These verses add to the plays moral confusion
and suggest that nothing is what it seems. The last verse said by the
witches in Act 1 Scene 1:

'Fair, is foul and foul is fair

Hover through the fog and filthy air'

Shakespeare combines alliteration, repetition and an oxymoron, not
only to create a sense of confusion, but also, using a rhyming couplet
that foreshadows something evil is going to occur. Although it is the
witches who say this verse, Macbeth's first line upon meeting the
witches is 'so foul and fair a day I have not seen.' This line echoes
the witches' line and creates a link between the witches' evil and
Macbeth. The witches do not immediately convince Macbeth that he is
going to be king however, when he realizes that the 'instruments of
darkness' tell the truth and he is Thane of Cawdor 'horrid imaginings'
begin to plan out evil in his head.

The witches' presence as the primary scene casts the mood for the
entire play. The audiences' beliefs of the supernatural power of
witches that threatens their religion and society would provide an
excuse for Macbeth's downfall. The audience would interpret that the
witches' power overpowered Macbeth and would...

Find Another Essay On Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Play

Macbeth's Responsibility for His Own Fait in William Shakespeare's Play

1104 words - 4 pages Macbeth's Responsibility for His Own Fait in William Shakespeare's Play Third time's a charm. The three wise men. Throughout history, the number three has been connected to the supernatural. It is the number of the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the number three crops up as a religious reference, but also as a perversion of the trinity to show how evil the witches, their prophecies, and

Lady Macbeth's Strategy in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth

1613 words - 6 pages Lady Macbeth's Strategy in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth In the seventh scene of act one Macbeth has left the banquet, and expresses his doubts about murdering Duncan in a monologue. Lady Macbeth comes in, and argues with Macbeth, until she manages to 'convince' him, that he has to murder Duncan. To do that Lady Macbeth uses mainly two arguments. 'Letting 'I dare not? wait upon ?I would? like the poor cat i? the adage? (lines 43

The Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

2247 words - 9 pages The Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play During this essay I will be assessing the characteristics of Macbeth which brought about his downfall and eventually led to his death. It could be argued that because of his ambition it would inevitably lead to his fall downfall and ultimately his death but there are other factors that contributed to it. Within this essay I will address these points and make clear

Macbeth's Change Throughout William Shakespeare's Play

2761 words - 11 pages Macbeth's Change Throughout William Shakespeare's Play In William Shakespeare´s "Macbeth", the audience witnesses one man´s is overriding ambitions resulting in consequences both for himself and those around him. In the play the main character is heavily influenced and persuaded by external forces, particularly the supernatural and the immense ambition of Lady Macbeth. In Act I, Shakespeare set the scene for

Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1683 words - 7 pages Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth This play is a tragedy. In this essay I will discuss what effect the witches, lady Macbeth and Macbeth have on the rise and fall of Macbeth. Macbeth at the beginning of the play is successful warrior in the Scottish army. The king of Scotland, Duncan, hears of Macbeth's bravery and he calls him a 'Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!' (Act 1 scene 2, line 24). This

Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

3628 words - 15 pages Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play The question is asking us to show our opinions to whether he is a person injured/destroyed in seeking to obtain an object or whether he is a person guilty/capable of great wickedness. The question tells us that Macbeth is a man of superhuman qualities. The play is written in 1606. Shakespeare wrote it as a tribute to King James VI of England. King James was fascinated by

Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

3857 words - 15 pages Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play Our first impressions of Macbeth are that he is a hero, he is brave and fearless, and although we get this impression we also get the feeling that he is ruthless. Macbeth has just been in battle against "The merciless Macdonwald" and a Captain is talking about how Macbeth and his fellow Captain, Banquo, performed in battle. "Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he

Lady Macbeth's Influence Upon Her Husband in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1796 words - 7 pages . Shakespeare's King Lear is an absolute calamity in which the innate world is amorally unresponsive toward mankind, but in the play Macbeth Shakespeare conspires to add a supernatural factor, where the witches purposely connive to ruin Macbeth's world and Scotland's heritage. A play like Macbeth in the 1600's was a daring move of William Shakespeare. As the King at the time was fixated with the effects of the supernatural, he

Macbeth's Killing of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

3587 words - 14 pages Macbeth's Killing of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In this essay I will explore all the reasons and explanations behind the killing of Duncan by Macbeth. I will explore all the influences upon him that lead to him deciding to kill Duncan; who is his king. I will explore four factors that contribute to the murder of Duncan; these factors are: Macbeth's personal ambitions, the weaknesses of Duncan, the witches

Macbeth's Killing of King Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2519 words - 10 pages Macbeth's Killing of King Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth The play of Macbeth was technically set in the 11th century (despite showing little indication of the period). The Scottish play was written by William Shakespeare in 1606 and is one of his tragedies, in that the main characters struggle with circumstances and meet death and despair. It was allegedly written for King James 1st by Shakespeare to act as a

Macbeth's Murder of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1020 words - 4 pages Macbeth's Murder of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Various different influences act upon Macbeth causing him to murder Duncan. The main ones are his ambition, his wife and the witches. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a brave warrior, described as noble and valiant, who knows his place and is a loyal servant to the king. Then a small seed planted in his very fertile head, grows very quickly. In

Similar Essays

Macbeth's Downfall In William Shakespeare's Play

2689 words - 11 pages Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Play 'Macbeth' is an extremely intricate play, full of suspense, guilt, tension, and superstition. It is an old-fashioned play which was written during the reign of King James I, and it portrays some of the events that occurred while he was on the throne. Witches were one of the main supernatural characters that people believed in, as well as the King. When Shakespeare

Macbeth's Downfall In Shakespeare's Play Essay

546 words - 2 pages Feelings of guilt run through his head. His victim’s blood fills his hands as unlawful proof of his crime. He just knows that he is one step closer to becoming king, after being hypnotized by the witches’ prophecies. Little does he know that this will lead to his downfall. Play writer William Shakespeare shows just how the witches' prophecies impact the decisions that Macbeth makes in achieving power in a scene from his famous play Macbeth

Macbeth's Tragic Downfall In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2335 words - 9 pages Macbeth's Tragic Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth William Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth is 1606. Shakespeare adds a supernatural dimension that deliberately conspires against Macbeth and his kingdom. The protagonist was lured to murder the king Duncan, by the desire for power, an appetite whetted by the witches' prophecies and his wife's encouragement. All characters made an impact on Macbeth's

Influences That Lead To Macbeth's Downfall In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

3790 words - 15 pages Influences That Lead to Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Macbeth is a play written by the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. The play was started around 1603 but was only finished in 1606. The play is a tragedy and is one of the darkest of Shakespeare's plays ever written. The play was originally written for King James I when he came to the throne of England after Elizabeth had died. Banquo, one