During the Elizabethan Age, Shakespeare was the greatest author and drama writer. He wrote such masterpiece tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello. Perhaps the greatest of them all is the story of Macbeth. In the play, the first Thane of Cawdor, Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth all are considered to have flaws which to a greater or lesser degree is the cause of their downfall.

In the second scene of the play you learn that Scotland is in war with Norway. King Duncan has learned that the First Thane of Cawdor was helping out the Norwegians. His assistance cost him his life. For treason, King Duncan ordered the first Thane of Cawdor to be executed and have Macbeth take his title. Though the first Thane of Cawdor was never actually in the play itself, the reader has to take the word of the Thane of Ross he was a traitor. Assisted by that most disloyal traitor The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict. (I ii 52-53)
After Macbeth is given the title of the first Thane of Cawdor, King Duncan decides to visit the successful captain and be a guest at his house. Duncan doesnt know that it is supposed to be Macbeths destiny to become king. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth decide to come up with this plan to kill Duncan in his sleep. Duncan was simply there congratulating Macbeth on his recent accomplishments. He had no idea of the trouble he was getting himself into during his stay at Macbeths. The only real flaw you can give to Duncan is that he should have had someone watching over him like a bodyguard, or that he should have been more suspicious about his hosts.

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The reason of Macbeths slaughter of King Duncan was the idea that he was the rightful King. The three witches had told him he would be the first Thane of Cawdor before he was given the rank. They also said that he would eventually reign as king. Besides Lady Macbeth who knew about the three witches, the only other person to know about them was Banquo. He automatically was considered a threat to Macbeth. For Banquos issue have I filed my mind, for them the gracious Duncan I have murdered. (III I 65-66) Macbeth is ordering the execution of Banquo. Banquo could have saved himself because he saw that the danger lies ahead for him. Instead he decided to stay and save his son Fleance from death.

Lady Macbeth was the real brains of the operation. She was the one who convinced and forced Macbeth to slain the honorable Duncan. The first scene of the last act shows the consequences of her actions. Lady Macbeth becomes crazy. She is not able to live with herself for what she has done. A psyche doctor is brought to examine her but it is to late to help and she kills herself.

Macbeth is prepared to defend himself at any cost. He was not prepared to give up the life he had killed for. Macbeth has no chance to win. His men and thanes are battling bravely. The young Siward tries to slain Macbeth but is unsuccessful and is murdered by Macbeth. Later when Macbeth meets Macduff, they go into battle. Painted upon a pole, and underwrit, here may you see the tyrant. (V viii 26-27) I will not yield, to kiss the ground before young Malcolms feet. (V viii 28-29) Macbeth is killed and Malcolm becomes the new King of Scotland.

The first Thane of Cawdor, Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth are all victims in the play. First Thane of Cawdor is killed because of the crime he committed. Since Macbeth is told he is to be king, he decides to kill Duncan. Banquo knew that Macbeth had killed Duncan so he was murdered. Finally at the end of the play, it seems that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are not thinking clearly. If they did, than Lady Macbeth wouldnt have killed herself and Macbeth wouldnt have fought a needless battle to the death.
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Responsibility for the Tragedy
In Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of Macbeth the main character Macbeth is driven from his status as a well respected warrior and lord of not one, but two Scottish regions to a dishonest, unloyal murderer. Macbeth gets caught in a web of lies and vile acts of murder in which he brings about his own demise. His criminal actions lead up to his tragic ending of life. ‘ They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, But bearlike I must fight the course.’ His great ambition and gullibility of the witches predictions are two of the biggest factors of his downfall;however, Lady Macbeth was probably the biggest influence in the whole tragedy.

Early in the tragedy, Macbeth is portrayed as a great leader and hero of many. He was a wonderful soldier who not only for for his country but for his King. During the course of the play though, Macbeth was greatly influenced by the supernatural forces of the witches. ‘ All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter!’ These witches led him to believe that he could be a King over all of Scotland if he would just do a few dishonest things to get what he wanted. ‘If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me, without my stir.’ Macbeth was gullible enough to believe the witches and thus led to his very own deception and demise. He brought himself to an even greater status than he began with but only through a gigantic web of lies which could not be untangled. He then felt lost and alone with nobody left to turn to. ‘ Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.’
However Macbeth was not the only influence in this great tragedy. Lady Macbeth played a large role as Macbeth’s seductress and brainwasher. Lady Macbeth persuaded her husband to kill the King not so that he would himself be King but so that she could be Queen.Although because of her involvement in this web of lies she felt guilty and drove herself insane worrying about what had happened and what would happen to her and her husband for being so dishonest. She was not responsible for the tragedy, she was only a manipulative factor in the scheme of things. Even though it does take two to tango, Macbeth tangoed on his own.

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After the death of Duncan Macbeth begins to work on his own without the help of his wife. He plans the murders of Banquo and the heir to the throne, Banquo’s son Fleance. Although it does not turn out as expected Macbeth remains calm until Banquo’s ghost appears. ‘… and keep the natural ruby of your cheeks, when mine is blanched with fear.’ This was the turning point in the whole story because until this point everything was going great for Macbeth, he had power, fame and fortune, all you could ever want;however, when this ghost appeared Macbeth went on a little insanity trip. He, also like his wife was engulfed with guilt and unable to function properly anymore. This led to another visit with the witches. Showing his overconfidence, Macbeth believed the three apparitions shown to him by the witches and was then extremely calm. He felt that no man could ever harm him thus he had nothing to worry about. ‘ Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee?’
Macbeth’s downfall continues still. He plans the murder of every member of the Macduff clan, even the scottie dog, in hopes that it will bring Macduff back to Scotland for one final duel with Macbeth. Macbeth feels that he is invincible and cannot be harmed by anyone in Scotland; however, Macduff brings reinforcement from England in order to scare Macbeth. Macbeth begins his demise as he is filled with depression and regrets, especially over the death of his wife who killed herself after a brief battle with insanity.

At the conclusion of the tragedy Macbeth is defeated by Macduff, a man not of woman born but one delivered by a caesarean section just like the witches had prophetised with the second apparition. His ambition is crushed and he is portrayed as a dead butcher because he killed so many people to get where he was but he never achieved exactly the status that he had hoped for.
Macbeth killed Macbeth. He brought everything upon himself and deserved everything he received. He could blame it on his wife or on the witches but that just would not be justifiable because he did not have to listen to any of them. He killed everyone who in the beginning were his loved ones and did not show any guilt or remorse for doing it. Is that a hero? No. A hero is a man of exceptional quality who wins admiration by his noble deeds. Once again, Macbeth killed Macbeth. He tangoed alone this time.

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