Macbeth: a Victim of Manipulation?

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In the play “Macbeth”, William Shakespeare uses belief in the existence and power of witches to create and influence the audience’s understanding of the play. Our initial impression of Macbeth is one of a brave and capable warrior, however once we see his interaction with the three “evil sisters” (Shakespeare, 1996) we realises that his physical audacity is coupled by an intense amount of ambition and self doubt. It is believed that the witches are the motive behind this ambition which eventually leads to his tragedy, however strong diverging arguments are in existence. The intensity of Macbeth’s tragedy is dependent on whether or not the witches are “professed to be able to control the naïve, innocent Macbeth” or whether he is to blame…show more content…
They dance around the cauldron and add in the poisoned entrails, chanting: “double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”(Shakespeare, 1996). Macbeth enters and insists that they answer to his questions. The witches call upon the apparition’s: “come, high or low; Thyself and office deftly show!”(Shakespeare, 1996) The three apparitions all have different forewarnings for him, the first being that he must “Beware Macduff”, the is that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” and the last warning is that he hasn’t to fear because “Macbeth shall never vanquished until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill” (Shakespeare, 1996), All these being impossible in the eyes of Macbeth.
Although not as evil looking as the witches, Lady Macbeth can also be perceived as one. In the same way that the witches sabotage the order of religion and that of society so does Lady Macbeth. She does this by trying to overwhelm her husband and have more power than he does. She also performs several deeds that imply that she is evil and like that of a witch. This includes her challenging her husband’s manhood through attempting to appear and act more aggressive and masculine than he is. This desire for masculinity is expressed when she says: “Come, you spirits. That tend on moral thought, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the tow top-full Of direst cruelty” (Shakespeare, 1996), casting
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