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Keen Kaur


Senior English P3

8 March 2019

Macbeth’s Downfall

One’s goodness and innocence can be tainted by evil and negative energy. Macbeth has

great potential as an individual, and his inner desire to become king proves this. The genuineness

and kindness of Macbeth makes it impossible for him to commit murders out of his own will. It

is with Lady Macbeth’s wicked persuasion that he propels into his own downfall. With her

influence, Macbeth is driven to take inconceivable actions that are against his human nature.

Lady Macbeth manipulates and slanders Macbeth to his unfortunate downfall.

Lady Macbeth exerts control over Macbeth in order to overpower him and exploit him in

order to serve her agenda. She plans to feed him whatever it takes so his actions ultimately work

in her favor. “Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor

of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round” (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 12-15). After

reading the letter, she wants Macbeth to hurry home so she can convince and talk him out of

whatever is stopping him from obtaining the precious crown she desperately wants for him. She

will go to great lengths to get what she desires, even if that means harming her own Husband’s

wellbeing and breaking him down. She goes as far as making Macbeth feel like a coward for his

emotions. “Why worthy thane, you do unbend your noble strength, to think so brainsickly

things” Act 2, Scene 2, Line 44-46). After he commits the murder, he feels guilty for his actions.

Lady Macbeth tells him not to think in such a cowardly way because he will let himself become

weak. She wants him to disregard his emotions in order to carry out future, evil crimes. She uses
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manipulative tactics to control Macbeth and make him vulnerable to her control, which is a

factor leading to his downfall.

Another destructive tool Lady Macbeth utilizes is verbal abuse in order to gain control

over her husband. She slanders him by saying that he is not manly and tells him what it is that

will make him a man. “When you durst do it, then you were a man and to be more than what you

were, you would be so much more than a man” (Act 1, Scene 7, Line 56-57). She is attacking his

manhood by saying that he was only a man when he dared to do what she wants, and that he will

be even more of a man if he carries through with the plan. She does not let him have a decision

of his own, because it would not work in her favor. Again, she attacks Macbeth by slandering

him and essentially tells him that if he does not continue forward with the original plan, he will

remain nothing but a coward. “Wouldst thou have that which esteem’st the ornament of life, and

live coward in thine own esteem, letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’ like the poor cat I’ th’

adage?” (Act 1, Scene 7, Line 41-45). She is taunting him by asking him if he will take the

crown he longs so badly, or if he will live as a coward that continues to claim they cannot, even

though they want to. Lady Macbeth taunts Macbeth which breaks him down into her control,

which is her goal. Her own, evil motives lead to Macbeth’s ruination.

Lady Macbeth’s personal agenda to acquire the royal crown manifests through her evil

actions against her own husband, Macbeth. She uses psychological methods to influence

Macbeth and his decisions which results in his havoc. Lady Macbeth is more ruthless, ambitious,

and stronger than him. She weakens him by attacking his courage, calling him a coward and less

of a man. She constantly overrides all the objections that Macbeth has and continuously

questions his manhood. This is what drives Macbeth to the point that he feels like he needs to

prove himself to her. He does this through committing unforgivable acts of evil that he does not
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feel content doing, but Lady Macbeth even goes as far as telling him what he is doing is nothing

to feel bad about. One can disguise themselves as a lover or friend but have ulterior motives such

as Lady Macbeth.
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Works Cited

Shakespeare, William,, Mowat, Barbara A.Werstine, Paul.The Tragedy Of Macbeth. New

York : Washington Square Press, 2004, c1992. Print.