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Macbeth’s Tragic Downfall Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

Is murder and betrayal really worth power? Macbeth is one of the most tragic, powerful, and gruesome plays William Shakespeare has ever written. Shakespeare is the father of tragedies. More importantly, with every tragedy he wrote, he based it around a moral or a lesson that should be learned after the completion of the play. This being the case, in the play Macbeth, Shakespeare puts forth the idea that by betraying others one is in turn betraying themselves. Shakespeare proves this by showing that at the conclusion of every murder Macbeth commits, he gradually declines on the ladder of respect and nobility. Macbeth starts off as a noble and respected leader. He is kind and a brave ...view middle of the document...

After the fact, he says, “To know my deed ‘twere best not know myself. / Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou / couldst” (2,3,93-95). With this in mind, Macbeth is already feeling regretful for his outrageous offence and starts to feel remorse for killing Duncan. He knows that he has performed a heinous crime, so he slowly begins to fall apart and experiences things that start to mess with his mind. For example, he starts having visions and hearing voices.When someone experiences auditory and visual hallucinations, it impacts their perception of reality and is a sign of insanity. He rationalizes his decision to kill Duncan as a means to become king and to acquire power, which is not worth the price he pays. However, Macbeth is too blinded by his lust for power that he continues to betray others to assure his safety at the throne. This being granted, Macbeth is not going to abdicate his role as king, and he will obliterate anyone that gets in his way.

Macbeth’s betrayal of Banquo is another act that causes him to lose respect from others. Macbeth is contemplating whether or not he is safe as a king when he says, “ To be thus is nothing, / But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo / Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature / Reigns that which would be feared. ‘Tis much he / dares” (3,1,50-54). Banquo is thought of as a threat to the throne, or so Macbeth thinks, so Macbeth orders two murderers to kill him. When the news of Banquo’s death reaches Macbeth strange things start to occur. While talking with some of his fellow friends at dinner he begins to see the ghost of Banquo and says, “Prithee, see there! Behold! Look! Lo! How say you? / Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too. / If charnel houses and our graves must send / Those that we bury back, our monuments / Shall be the maws of kites” (3.4.73-76). This shows that Macbeth begins to hallucinate after Banquo’s murder and insists he sees his ghost. The ghost is not really there; it is all a figure of his imagination. Macbeth sees the ghost out of guilt and out of his lack of sleep. When the human body does not get enough sleep it begins to hallucinate, Macbeths hallucination is a prime example of this. Not only does Macbeth make a complete fool of himself by freaking out, but he also causes his peers to gain suspicion over...

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