Throughout Shakespeare's play, "Macbeth," Macbeth makes several bad decisions. By the end of Act V the consequences of these decisions start to affect Macbeth, and result in his mental deterioration and downfall. Macbeth's character traits are a major contributor to this mental deterioration. These character traits include his blind ambition/greed, his guilt, and also his false hopes. Macbeth's blind ambition or his tragic flaw is a large contributing factor to his mental deterioration. .
Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth has a tendency to make decisions out of his desire for power. An example of this is when the three witches prophesize that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor then, king of Scotland. Macbeth becomes so over powered by greed when the first prophecy comes true, that he murders Duncan so that he may become king. Macbeth had stated in a letter sent to Lady Macbeth that, " 'Hail, king that shalt be!'/ This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest/ partner of greatness; that thou mightest not lose the/ dues of rejoicing," (Shakespeare I, v, Ln.9). In this quote, Macbeth shows clear signs of greed when he hints to his wife that he has plans to become king. Another model of Macbeth's blind ambition is when the three witches proclaim that Fleance, Banquo's son will become king. Being the paranoid character that he is, Macbeth feels threatened by this and orders both Banquo and Fleance to be killed. In Act 3, Macbeth says that, "and mine eternal jewel/ Given to the common enemy of man/ To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!" (III, i, Ln.72). Macbeth's ambition is to remain king for as long as possible and he will kill anybody who stops this from happening. Macbeth's blind ambition is the primary driving force to his mental deterioration and downfall. However, killing Banquo only causes Macbeth to further deteriorate and continue to suffer.