How is the archetype of the fall developed in "Macbeth"?

1 Answer
Apr 11, 2017

It is developed throughout the entire play.


From the opening lines of the witches to Macbeth's death at the hands of Macduff, the message is clear. If an individual tries to alter or disturb the natural order of things, then his/her fall is inevitable. This is the inevitable fate of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

It reflects the thinking of the time and the fact that King James VI of Scotland 1st of England was a descendant of the murdered Duncan. Shakespeare gave a very distorted version of Scottish history in the play.

Macbeth and his wife's fall is consistently predicted and illustrated throughout the play. There is the pathetic fallacy of the opening scenes and the link in dialogue between the witches and Macbeth, namely "fail is foul and foul is fair."

There is also Lady Macbeth's soliloquies and descent into madness, the predicted murder of Banquo and escape of Fleance and the death of Macbeth by Macduff who was born by caesarean.