In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the title character experiences a distinctive and expected downfall. This downfall, though others may disagree, may be attributed solely to the doings of himself. The cause of Macbeth’s downfall rests heavily on three main issues; these of course being his ambition, his reliance on his wife, Lady Macbeth, and his impatience. All of these facets culminate to speed Macbeth on to his demise as a ruler, a character, and a tragic hero.
Of these issues concerning Macbeth’s downfall, the most pronounced is perhaps his ambition. This has been called Macbeth’s fatal flaw, as it is completely uncontrollable by the character himself. Throughout the play, Macbeth struggles with this flaw and this is evident during the times in which he is forced to make decisions that will ultimately change the course of the plot. One such time immediately follows Macbeth’s first encounter with the three witches. After hearing the prophecies, he is filled with ambitious thoughts about his future and expects these events to commence quickly. However, when all does not go as planned his ambition is sent into overdrive and he is no longer at his own will. As Macbeth states in Act I, scene iv, in lines 58-63:
Macb. [Aside.] The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step
Word Count: 215