The witches personify malevolence and use deceit and half-truths to manipulate their prey and draw the kingdom of Scotland into disaster. Duncan, the goodly, virtuous king, is aware of the potential treachery that surrounds him, and yet he is betrayed by a man he absolutely trusts. Malcolm, Duncan’s son and heir, learns from his father errors and instead of becoming a victim of deceit, uses cunning and guile to test the loyalty of Macduff in Act 4, Scene 3. Lady Macbeth recognises the need for pretence to ensure the crown is secured. She frames the Chamberlains for Duncan’s murder and constantly calls on darkness to mask her crimes.
Lady Macbeth is willing to do anything to make this prophecy a reality. As part of her plan, she determines that she must persuade Macbeth to murder Duncan. However, she fears that Macbeth’s kindness will hamper her ambitions: Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it. (1.5. 13-18) Lady Macbeth voices her concern over Macbeth’s nature, stating that he is “too full o’ the milk of human kindness” to commit the murder that Lady Macbeth desires.
Ultimately her apparent success comes about as she challenges his manhood during the discussion of murdering Duncan, “When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1, VII, 49). Macbeth does not want to be portrayed as a coward, especially in the eyes of his beloved wife; he carries out the assassination and ascends the throne as a result. Onwards from this point in the play, the persona of Macbeth changes as he indulges further into murderous behaviour and tyranny leading to his defeat as King of Scotland. Therefore Lady Macbeth played a direct role in Macbeth’s rise to
Macbeth is at first skeptical of the witches’ claims. Lady Macbeth’s aggressive persuasion forces him to fulfill the prophecies. Lady Macbeth challenges Macbeth's masculinity by aggressively pursuing the prophecies, and taunting him saying “When you durst do it, then you were a man”(Shakespeare, 366). This forces Macbeth to act according to the will of Lady Macbeth to establish his dominance. Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to aid her in her plot to overcome her husband's reluctance and force him to kill Duncan.
His wife then puts his conscience at ease. The wife was being immoral by persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan and trying to soften the blow of Duncan's death by reassuring her husband that everything was going to be all right. Macbeth was being immoral by actually killing King Duncan. Macbeth is already starting to feel guilty, but Lady Macbeth seems not to be affected, as of now. The second malicious decision chosen by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth was to have Banquo and his sons killed.
As the play goes on, Macbeth slowly looses his morality as he strives for more control whilst Lady Macbeth steps into a frantic stage of guilt. After killing the king, Macbeth starts to plot other evil undertakings as he becomes nervous that someone will take away his power. At one point he goes from wanting to needing the sovereignty, which makes him loose sight of his integrity. As Macbeth begins to immorally act in order to achieve what he hungers, the line between good and evil starts to fade. “I am in blood / Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” (3.4.136-138) In this quote, Macbeth is telling himself that because he has stepped into evil so deeply, it will be hard to go back to morallity because he will never be able to rid of this guilt brought onto him.
Is Macbeth Responsible For His Downfall? Who is responsible for the downfall of Macbeth? He is manipulated by the witches, encouraged by his wife, but ultimately he chooses to act. His first conference with the witches, Macbeth’s ambition was planted and his mind was overwhelmed with thoughts of murder and betrayal. It fair to say, in addition, that if his betrayal caused this extensive pain that clouded him after he murders Duncan, Banquo and the Macduff’s that it wasn’t a case of fate and was his own doing.
True masculinity is a conceptual fallacy. Macbeth’s hamartia is his indulgence in the concept of masculinity. Lady Macbeth, the main female protagonist demasculinizes Macbeth throughout the play for his lack of assertiveness. Manipulatively, she states to Macbeth, “What beast was’t then, /That made you break this enterprise to me? / When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1.7.47-49).. She defines manhood as stark aggression to achieve power in any means necessary such as killing Duncan.
He realized that the plan might not be reasonable and he started to second guess himself. “If th’assassination/ Could trammel up the consequence” (1.7 3-4) He had always looked up to Duncan and the thought of killing him made him distraught. Lady Macbeth found out that he was thinking about backing out on the plan. This is when she approached Macbeth and yelled at him about not being a man and managed to persuade him back into the plan. When it’s finally time to take action, Macbeth is frightened.
In Macbeth, ambition is presented as a dangerous quality, and can tarnish even the purest of souls. The destruction wrought when ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints is arguably expressed strongest through interaction between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and is the main foundation of Macbeth’s inevitable downfall, and triggers a series of deaths. Lady Macbeth encourages her husband mercilessly to kill Duncan, helped by the malign prophecies of the witches, and urges him to be strong in the murder’s aftermath, but he is said to be too kind, 'Yet do I fear thy nature it is to full o' the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.' (I, v, 14-16). Although a courageous general who holds Duncan in high regard, ‘he hath honoured me of late’ (I, vii, 32) and isnot naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, he deeply desires power and advancement; he kills Duncan against his better judgment.