Every man is responsible for his own destiny. In Shakespeare s Macbeth, this is particularly true, as it was by his own actions that Macbeth brought about his downfall. Macbeth s ambition to be King sets himself upon the path to his downfall. By being paranoid and suspicious because of his guilt he followed the path. Also, by failing to realizing the warning signs and acting accordingly he came to the end of the path, his death.
Macbeth s ambition is a main factor in his downfall. After the witches tell him he is to become King his ambition corrupts him immediately, Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear things that seem so fair? says Banquo, who misunderstands Macbeth s hesitation for fear when it is actually a show of his ambition taking over. Macbeth s ambition was so strong that he had to act on it by Killing Duncan, which leads several characters to question their loyalty towards Macbeth. Macduff is the first to suspect Macbeth for killing Duncan after Macbeth kills the attendants and Macduff asks, Wherefor did you so? This suspension leads Macduff to pray the holy king, upon his aid to wake Northumberland and war-like Siward and raise a rebellion against Macbeth. This leads to Macbeth s death at the hands of Macduff.
Once king, Macbeth s guilt drives him to become more and more paranoid and suspicious which leads to his downfall. Macbeth s once close friend Banquo now becomes an enemy as a result of his paranoia. Macbeth fears Banquo because Banquo is prophesized to become King, There is none but he whose being I do fear; and under him my genius is rebuk’d and so Macbeth plots to get rid of this threat. After Macbeth kills Banquo and Banquo s ghost appears at the banquet Macbeth s friends and lords become suspicious of Macbeth and question their loyalty to him, causing them to flea when Macduff and the English army approaches. Macbeth becomes paranoid and suspicious of Macduff when the witches tell him to beware the Thane of Fife which is Macduff. Macbeth then decides to murder the Macduff family, The castle of Macduff I will surprise; seize upon Fife; give to the edge of the sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line. When Macduff hears of this news he vows revenge and is determined confront Macbeth, cut short all intermission, front to front bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself and at this confrontation he kills Macbeth. If Macbeth had not become suspicious of Macduff and killed his family, Macduff may not have seeked such revenge.
Macbeth caught up in his own world and fails to realize the warning signs of his downfall. After Macbeth is told to beware of Macduff he is told that he cannot be defeated until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come , Macbeth misinterprets this which leads him into a false sense of security and so instead of preparing for the approaching army does nothing which allows the prophesy to become true which leads to his defeat. When Macbeth learns of the approaching 10,000 troops being led by Malcolm and Macduff he says he will fight till from my bones my flesh be hack’d. Give me my armor.” Instead of fleeing like he should have he stays to fight and engage in battle. Macbeth is not afraid of the 10,000 troops because he believes I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born but Macduff was from his mother s womb untimely ripp d and kills Macbeth. Because he did not realize the threats against him he is killed
Macbeth s inability to realize the threats against him, his paranoia and suspension of others, and his ambition that lead others to distrust him and him to think irrationally, all lead to his downfall. And so Macbeth is guilty for his own downfall. Shakespeare leads us to hate Macbeth when he slaughters an innocent family, and leads us to pity Macbeth when he realizes his downfall, which he himself is responsible.