Who’s Responsible for Macbeth’s Tragedy?

Updated September 10, 2022

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Who’s Responsible for Macbeth’s Tragedy? essay

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Many people will argue that the witches are responsible for the un-doing of Macbeth, which I believe is not so. Maybe the witches started to make Macbeth think about how he would rise to the crown, but they didn’t make up any ideas for him. Any thought that may have led to his downfall was created by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, which leads me to believe that the weird sisters are maybe not totally, but mostly innocence.

When the witches meet Macbeth and Banquo of the first time, they tell them that Macbeth will become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and “shalt be king hereafter.” Once the witches lay out their prophecies, Macbeth is speechless with shock and fear. This is when Banquo asks, “Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear, things that sound so fair?” Exactly!

Why was Macbeth so startled and scared of the prophecy? The only reason to explain why he should have feared the prophecy is that he’d already thought about taking the crown for himself and the witches just verbalised his “deepest desires.” This is all revealed in a soliloquy Macbeth speaks after he is appointed Thane of Cawdor. “Why do I yield to that suggestion, whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs…” The suggestion Macbeth is referring to is the act of killing King Duncan and committing regicide.

This quote is verification that Macbeth finds himself thinking about murdering Duncan, even though he was never told by the witches that that is what he needed to do, or influenced by Lady Macbeth, yet. After seeing this evidence, can we really blame the witches for his downfall?

Although they may have made Macbeth start to think more darkly, they only voiced ideas that he’d already thought and didn’t explicitly tell him that killing Duncan was the only way to the crown. Despite the fact the witches equivocate by only telling Macbeth a destination instead of the journey, they can’t be blamed for Macbeth’s downfall. So who should be? This leads me to my next point. Although the blame of Macbeth’s downfall is often placed on the witches, I believe they did not directly influence Macbeth as much as he was influenced by Lady Macbeth.

When the witches prophesied about part of Macbeth’s rise to kingship, they left out how he would become king, leaving that open to interpretation by Macbeth and more importantly, Lady Macbeth. Even though Macbeth thinks about killing Duncan, he decided not to act on his ambition, just as Lady Macbeth thought he would. After reading the letter Macbeth sent to her to inform her of the predictions and his promotion, Lady Macbeth voiced her concerns that Macbeth’s heart was “too full o’th’milk of human kindness, to catch the nearest way…” in a soliloquy.

This shows that Macbeth wasn’t a bad person. Before he became mentally ill, Macbeth was described as “noble” and “great” and “kind” indicating that maybe it wasn’t solely Macbeth’s fault that he turned into a killer and tyrant. This is supported by when Macbeth decides to “proceed no further in this business” and refuses to murder the King. When he tells his wife about his decision, Lady Macbeth questions his manhood and loyalty to her, in an act of persuasion. “When you durst do it, then you were a man.”

This leads to the murder of Duncan and ultimately, Macbeth’s downfall. In this scene, we can see that Lady Macbeth has an extremely strong influence over Macbeth. Therefore, we can see how she should be held responsible for his undoing. Lady Macbeth is arguably to blame for Macbeth’s downfall, which through the evidence presented is clearly correct. But there is more than one side to every story, and more than one culprit to blame in Macbeth.

Who’s Responsible for Macbeth’s Tragedy? essay

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Who’s Responsible for Macbeth’s Tragedy?. (2020, Sep 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/whos-responsible-for-macbeths-tragedy/


Who is most responsible for Macbeth?
7.54-59). Lady Macbeth is very responsible for nurturing Macbeth's intent to murder the king. Had she not pushed him he may have not followed through with his plans to murder the king.
Who is responsible for Macbeth's downfall Macbeth or Lady Macbeth?
In the play, The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth is ultimately responsible for Macbeth's undoing because her ambition supported his greed and provoked his downfall. Lady Macbeth with her demanding and forceful comments triggered Macbeth 's weakness which leads Macbeth to agree on the murder.
Who is responsible for Macbeth's tragedy?
The person to blame for the tragedies in Macbeth is Macbeth himself . In act 4 scene 2 in Macbeth Macduff's son says, "He has killed me, mother. Run away I pray you." Macbeth has sent two murderers to kill Macduff's wife and son. They have killed them which makes Macbeth responsible for this tragedy as well.
who is to blame for macbeth's downfall?
The blame for his downfall is attributed to three people: the witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself . The witches placed the idea of becoming a king in his head, while Lady Macbeth manipulated her husband, and Macbeth himself is to blame for putting his greedy ambitions before his conscience.
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