In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare the character Macbeth had caused his own downfall. While is can be thought that his downfall is caused by his wife or the three witches it is instead caused by his own ambition. When he was talking about killing Duncan he stated, “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other-” (Shakespeare 1.
7. 25-27). He was going to say “and falls on th’ other side” but he had gotten cut off when Lady Macbeth walks in. What he was saying was a metaphor about horses and horsemanship meaning that an he is like an inexperienced and crazy horse rider who jumps too crazily on to the saddle of the horse and instantly falls on to the other side, therefore failing his task.