“The witches are the most powerful characters in the play and the catalyst of all Macbeth’s crimes” Do you agree?
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, we are faced with a character, Macbeth, who is known as a strong soldier in the play and from this we can infer that he is a determined character. In saying that, we witness the transition from a character that is already very ambitious, into a character that becomes fuelled with the desire for power.
The fuel had begun from the prophecies and apparitions given by the witches in telling Macbeth that he will rule the kingdom of Scotland. Not only do the witches begin and spur Macbeth crimes, but also does Lady Macbeth in encouraging him and instilling the evil values that she possesses towards him. Macbeth was driven by his own greed and ambition to have the power and Macbeth acknowledges this of himself.
In Shakespeare’s time, the people were very superstitious and they believed that their lives were strongly influenced, if not dictated by the power of fate.
Macbeth becomes intrigued by the witches’ prophecies about him and wanted to make sure that they then became true. It is ultimately the three witches prophecies of him becoming the King of Scotland, which ignites the spark within him. The witches not only deceive Macbeth but their predictions create a temptation for him to kill King Duncan. The witches give Macbeth the initial temptation to advance his position in life. They were the first to implant the thought into his head. The witches open Macbeths imagination to the thought of murdering Duncan to become the King. The witches thrive in chaos and toil and represent the human emotions of hate and wickedness
In the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeths relationship is strong and see each other as partners of ‘greatness’. Though after reading the letter from her husband, she says “Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o’th’milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way” which shows that she thinks that Macbeth is too kind hearted to murder king Duncan. She did not want his kind nature to jeopardize their chances to great power thus leading her to her persuasion towards murdering Duncan. In Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth mentions in the soliloquy that Duncan had been a gracious and kind king and that there was no reason to commit the murder.
Thus, questions raised on his character from Lady Macbeth deeply hurt his ego as she concluded that he was not worthy of being called a man. Lady Macbeth wanted to see her husband succeed and become King, and she didn’t stop at anything. She tells him ‘ O, never Shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters. To beguile the time, Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.’. If Lady Macbeth hadn’t influenced Macbeth, then he would still be an honorable, and noble man. Lady Macbeth manipulated Macbeth, as he was by the witches also.
Though Lady Macbeth and the Witches are the most powerful characters in the play and the catalysts, Macbeth is also responsible for his own actions and committing regicide as he says ‘stars, hide your fires; let Light not see my deep and black desires’. Macbeth knew that if he wanted to become King he would have to do evil.
The witches and Lady Macbeth both manipulate and evoke Macbeth to act the way that he does because he is gullible to their influence. Lady Macbeth was an addition to the evil thoughts of Macbeth but without the witches providing an insight into his potential rulings of Scotland. Though Macbeth himself is responsible for his own actions and the final decision lies within himself.
“All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis” act 1 scene 3
Cite this Macbeth S Crimes Essay
Macbeth S Crimes Essay. (2016, Nov 05). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/macbeth-s-crimes/