Numerous later overdevelopment of ambition for power. His
Numerous reasons for the downfall of Macbeth are presented throughout the tragedy of the same name, major examples including his ambition, weakness, fate, the supernatural, and the Divine Right of Kings. When questioning the cause for his atrophy, note two primary theories to the tragedy; one blames Macbeth of having complete control over his actions and hence corrupting himself, and the other holds a higher power – fate, and the Great Chain of Being – accountable for leading the tragic hero to an inevitable downfall. To answer concisely, all six prophecies prophesied by the Weird Sisters, though some results may seem to be contrived, were fulfilled; displaying the correlation between Macbeth’s undoing with predictions of the future. Using analysis of characters and quotations, form and structure of the play, as well as context, I will justify my stance on the reason for Macbeth’s downfall.The initial duality between Macbeth’s weakness as an individual and his bravery as a soldier is further juxtaposed with the later overdevelopment of ambition for power.
His weakness is demonstrated in two ways; his lack of willpower and his easy submission to his wife. Lady Macbeth’s apparent power over her husband is commanded with shame. She is demeaning towards his masculinity; in 1.7, after he shows dubiousness, she says to him,”What beast was’t, then,That made you break this enterprise to me?When you durst do it, then you were a man;”Her intention here is clear – to coerce Macbeth into murdering Duncan. By shaming Macbeth for “looking so green and pale”, even going so far as to say that that was how “she accounted his love”, she manipulated him and got her way. Shakespeare used zoomorphism in order to present Lady Macbeth’s pathetic demeaning appeal to Macbeth.
This represents the upset power dynamic between the pairing; Macbeth easily gives in, showing submission. Lady Macbeth is clearly stronger than both Duncan and Macbeth, and it is her ambition that leads to her own downfall and suicide, and not Macbeth’s. Despite his guilt in knowing he should “not bear the knife himself”, even admitting that there was no incentive to kill Duncan “but only vaulting ambition”, Macbeth’s growing ambition for power turns into a much more sinister hubris after Lady Macbeth’s ambition realises his own.
This guilt paints Macbeth as a tragic hero – If there is any tragic flaw in Macbeth’s early character, it is not his ambition, but his weakness.