The Downfall of Macbeth
Shakespeare uses Macbeth to show the terrible effects that ambition and guilt can have on a man who lacks strength of character. Although the play was written in 1600 England, its theme is universal and cares not about time. It is Macbeth’s lack of character strength that is his demise.
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The reader is introduced to Macbeth by way of description. A “bleeding sergeant” meets the good King Duncan and his son, Malcolm. The sergeant tells a tale of the recent battle in which “brave Macbeth” fought bravely (I.ii.19). At first introduction, Macbeth seems to be the perfect soldier, “carving out his passage” (I.ii.22). Between meeting the witches and his wife’s immoral determination, we are left wondering if Macbeth ever really stood a chance against fate. Perhaps had he not started his crime wave, he might not have ended so horribly and would not have become the tyrannt everyone calls him by the end of the play.”