Discuss Whether Fate and the Supernatural Are to Blame for Macbeth's Tragic Downfall

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“The words of the witches are fatal to the hero only because there is something in him which leaps at the sound of them; but they are at the same time the witness of forces which never cease to work in the world around him, and, on the instant of his surrender to them, entangle him inextricably in the web of Fate.” (AC Bradley) Discuss whether fate and the supernatural are to blame for Macbeth's tragic downfall Shakespeare's protagonist's whose fate is inextricably interwoven with the dark supernatural world of the Weird Sisters. This links to the Aristotelian view of tragedy; “as is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions” (Poetics- Book 6.2). Indeed, this “metaphysical aid” is blamed for Macbeth’s tragic fall as, immediately presented to us in the play's eerie, tempestuous opening, they declare, “there to meet with Macbeth.” This would have elicited responses of “horrified sympathy and awe,” from the audience as the Witches’ dialogue suggests that they are singling him; mere mortal in whose life they intend to meddle. This makes him a tragic hero, who suffers at the hands of fate, and has little control over his destiny. That said, the playwright's juxtaposition of the supernatural with the initial portrayal of an individual at his highest peak firmly establishes the protagonist as “traditionally” heroic. Duncan describes Macbeth as both “brave,” and “noble.” Thus, to argue that “fate and the supernatural” are “to blame” would be inadequate, given the complex psychological portrait that Shakespeare paints of Macbeth; a man who falls from hero to villain, and whose death is seen as necessary to restore Scotland to “health.” Therefore, it can be argued that while the “supernatural soliciting” of the evil world of the Witches tempts Macbeth
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