The cause of Macbeth's downfall has been debated for many years. Some people believe that it was in fact the power of fate. While others believe that Macbeth, himself was responsible in initiating his demise. Still, others take a more balanced approach, and view it as both fate and Macbeth are liable for the demise of Macbeth. In the play Macbeth, William Shakespeare proves that many factors led to Macbeth's downfall. External factors play a vital role in his downfall; such as the witches prophecy and his wife's pressure. However, Macbeth's own imagination and ambition play the dominating role leading towards his demise. .
After the battle, Macbeth is greeted by the witches. "All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!" (Act I, Scene 3, 49-53) The prophecy that he shall be king catches his attention. "If chance will have me king why chance may corwn me Without my stir." (Act I, Scene 3, 56-58).
When Macbeth arrives at the palace he learns that he has become Thane of Cawdor. He now believes that he is one step closer to fulfilling the prophecy of the witches. His ambition to be king grows strong. " Let not light see my black and deep desires." (Act I, Scene 4, 59) To fulfil the witches' prophecy Macbeth murders the king."I have done the deed". (Act II, Scene 2, 17). When Macbeth is king he again visits with the witches' and commands them to answer his questions. The witches' give him three prophecies. " Beware Macduff"( Act IV, scene 1, 78) "for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth," (Act IV, Scene 1, 88-89) "Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Bernam Wood to Dunsinane Hill shall come against him." ( Act IV, Scene 1, 101-103). These prophecies give Macbeth an overconfidence that nothing will happen to him. This eventually leads to his death. Macbeth fears Macduff and decides to have Macduff killed because of the witches' prophecies.