Macduff enters Holding Macbeth's Lifeless head. “Hail King of Scotland!”, Cheer the people. How did it get to this? How did a soft-hearted and honest noble like Macbeth get into this position? The quick and easy answer is that it was the work of the three witches.
If you were directing the scene where the witches appear and speak their prophecies, what stage directions would you incorporate and what props would you use to enhance what the witches are saying?
Pretty much in truth the real person to blame for Macbeth's downfall is himself because of his ambitions of becoming King no matter what the cost. As soon as he meets the three witches and the second prophecy of him becomes Thane of Cawdor, he becomes obsessed with becoming the King and making the third prophecy come true. He calls upon the power of darkness to complete the task of killing Duncan and any others who he thinks will be his downfall. Macbeth, later on in the play, becomes psycho kills anyone and everyone, even his best friend Banquo because of the prophecies and him losing his mind over the fact of becoming king and losing his sleep. In the beginning, it seems as if the witches read his mind and know what he is thinking and in his aside, he starts to talk about the three witches and the prophecies. “This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success, commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor: If good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, against the use of nature? Present fears are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what is not. (Act 1 scene 3 Page
Shakespeare’s tragic play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, has many thrills and chills which adds to the plot. There’s scenes that really make you think and ponder what Shakespeare could have meant. One of the most controversial part of the play is who exactly held the most power in the play. The answer to that is the three witches. They held this so called power through magic and words, which held a very potent influence on Macbeth and other people.
The three witches in the tragedy Macbeth are introduced right at the beginning of the play. The scene opens with the witches chanting three prophesies: Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis and King. These prophesies introduce Macbeth to his plan of defeat and to over power. Macbeth will eventually follow through in killing king Duncan. Some people believe that the witches had the ability to reverse the order of things. This brings into the play idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. One can only wonder if Macbeth ever had a chance of doing what was right after he met with the witches. It is however, more realistic to believe that Macbeth was responsible for his own actions throughout the play and in the end,
These prophecies that the witches told Macbeth. At first did not affect him he thought if they are gonna happen then let them happen by themselves. The first three prophecies the witches said “Thane of Cawdor…,Thane of Glamis…, and king hereafter( 1.3.48-50).” Macbeth did not at first believe this then he sent a letter to his wife about the prophecies. When his wife seen this she was very excited. She wanted to have the power of Queen of Scotland. So when Macbeth got home she asked him about the three prophecies and manipulated Macbeth into killing Duncan. So Macbeth and Lady Macbeth would become King and Queen. This made Macbeth became a deranged man. He became very
An important question every serious reader of Macbeth will probably ask himself at one point is, would Macbeth have killed Duncan and become king if the witches hadn’t tell him he would? Even though we do not get to know Macbeth before he is revealed such crucial prophecy we have no indication to think that he had serious aspirations to the throne before that. Yet it seems as if “The Sisters of Destiny” knew that if they made Macbeth aware of his fate he would by instinct seek for the throne. This means their prophecy cannot be considered a true, complete one, as it needs its own existence to be fulfilled. If we try to look, once again, for the motive of the witches’ revelation we reach a dead end. Apparently the witches do so without an aim or reason at all, fact which adds to the great
Macbeth understands that the witches "have more in them than mortal knowledge," and his trust in the witches is made stronger because out of the three prophecies, "two truths are told" (1.5.3) (1.3.140). If it hadn’t been for the prophecy that the witches gives to Banquo and Macbeth, Lady Macbeth would never persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan to become King; and Macbeth never would plot to kill Banquo as a result of jealousy because of Banquo’s prophecy, and mistrust of Banquo after Macbeth kills Duncan. Macbeth relies on the witches throughout the play. Knowing that his sins are so large and he is "in blood / Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more," he knows that he must consult the witches again because he knows they will give him advice, and confidence for him to continue making poor decisions. (3.4.169) Again the witches manipulate Macbeth even more, by showing him three apparitions, that make him feel over confident about his bright future as king. These apparitions give Macbeth false confidence, and will result in him making a decision that leads him to failure. So when he finds out these predictions he damns "all those that trust them", ironically damning him, because he has trust in the witches up until this point. (4.1.158) The only reason why Macbeth ever trusts and wants the witches’ prophecies is so he can gain more confidence and feel more powerful.
Nevertheless, Macbeth quickly discounts these bloody visions of murder and continues to fantasize about his future glories. Furthermore, when Macbeth encounters the witches, we are only told a quick summary of the prophecy, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!” (1.3.52).and then, “All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.53). Yet the witches do not reveal the means by which Macbeth will come about this glory or mention any ill deeds that are to come. This leaves one to believe that the witches knew Macbeth’s fate as Thane and King, yet the other bloody elements of the prophecy are enacted solely through Macbeth’s own will. Macbeth is only prompted in his bloody actions by supernatural forces and of course Lady Macbeth.
In the beginning of the play, the witches make three prophecies. First, that Macbeth will become the Thane of Cawdor. The second part of the prophecy is that Macbeth will become King. The third prophecy being that Banquo will be father to future kings. When Macbeth first hears the prophecy, Duncan holds the position as king. King duncan is also a very loved king by his people. Macbeth and Duncan even have a good relationship. Macbeth is Duncan’s greatest war hero and because of Macbeth’s great success in battle, Duncan rewards him by promoting him to the position of Thane of Cawdor. With this promotion, Macbeth realizes that the witches first prophecy was true. With this realization, Macbeth’s head begins to fill with thoughts of killing King Duncan to speed up the process so that he can become king. When he tells his wife of the prophecies and his promotion, she becomes extremely
The three witches make three initial predictions. The first witch says, "All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis", the second witch then goes onto say, "All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor", the third witch then says "all hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter". They also tell Banquo that his sons shall become King. The prophecies have a lot of influence over Macbeth. The witches are clever in coming to Macbeth at the right time and in what they said. They chose exactly the right moment to approach Macbeth. He is full of triumph and fresh from the fighting ad killing. He is at a particularly vulnerable time to have his head filled with thoughts of becoming king and fame. He says to Banquo "… Why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix to my hair, and make my seated heart knock on my ribs, Against the use of Nature." The text states clearly that Macbeth has murderous thought in his mind that are prompted by the prophecy, "Present fears, are less than horrible imaginings: My thought, whose murder is fantastical shakes so single state of man." It is an important point, it shows his reaction that someone has read his mind. The Witches are actually speaking Macbeth's innermost thoughts. Does this
If Macbeth didn’t know about this prophecy he would have happily took his position as Thane of Cawdor, but knowing he will be King drove him to commit murder. Macbeth was rapidly changed from an honorable general to an evil tyrant. “The witches did not tell him to commit murder; all that was necessary was for them to suggest the fact of the crown, and they could trust Macbeth to overcome the obstacles in his way just as they would have him” (Wiley, 45). This emphasizes the fact that the play is shaped by the supernatural. This lead to the murder of Duncan, then to get rid of his obstacles he kills the guards. The Witches also reveal “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (1.3.67) to Banquo. This knowledge leads Macbeth to send Murderers to kill Banquo and his son. This is more evidence to show that the words of the witches construct the plays events.
Macbeth knows about the prophecy now and this prophecy is slowly starting to become true and only Macbeth and Lady Macbeth know about the prophecy. There is one huge problem with the prophecy its that there is a current king alive and healthy. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth decide to kill the king “When Duncan is asleep […] When in swinish sleep their drenched in natures lies as in death” (1 7 61-68). Macbeths greed is greater as he wants to become king and what has to be done to get there is not a problem for him, even if that means killing his friends.
The three witches make Macbeth lean towards acting unlike himself by convincing him that he will become the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Scotland. When Macbeth does indeed become Thane of Cawdor, he believes that he will become the king of Scotland. He presumes he has to do whatever it takes for him to become the king, no matter what the cost, or who he has to kill. It is his destiny to become the King, therefore he must do whatever is needed to succeed. Macbeth ponders the idea of the witches telling the truth and what he must do to become the king, “This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success, commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor. If good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, against the use of nature? Present fears are less than horrible imaginings” (Act 1, Scene 3, lines 134-142). These lines show Macbeth realizing the prophecy has come true and
If the three of them were to not have spoken of Macbeth becoming king, or of any of the prophecies, he wouldn't have felt compelled to kill King Duncan. ''All hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter.'' This was the Witches' way of prophesising that Macbeth would become king. Although they did not say that he was to kill Duncan, that statement was the one to make Macbeth later consider killing King Duncan. If the Three Witches did not speak to Macbeth at all, he would not have wanted to kill the king.