Did the Three Witches Push Macbeth to Kill Duncan

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  • Topic: Macbeth, English-language films, Three Witches
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  • Published : September 17, 2012
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Essay- Would Macbeth have decided to kill the king without the witches’ prophecy? Macbeth was a loyal and brave soldier, this was thought by everyone even by the king. Without the push and prophecy from the witches and Lady Macbeth Macbeth wouldn’t have thought of pursuing in killing of the king to become the next leader of Scotland. These examples are shown throughout Act 1, Scene 3 with Banquo and Macbeth’s first encounter with the witches. In this scene Macbeth and Banquo are told the prophecy of Macbeth becoming not only Thane of Cawdor, but to become a future king. First Witch

“All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!”

Second Witch
“All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!”

Third Witch
“All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!”
Macbeth is instantly in doubt of what he has been told by the sisters, he knows he is the Thane of Glamis but then wonders how of Cawdor, then is more troubled with the thought of being king. Although he is thinking of the possibilities soon after he corrects himself and tells the witches he will be no more than Thane of Cawdor. Right from the start Macbeth doubted the prophecy and did not believe as he was a loyal soldier to King Duncan.

Another example in the play is in Act 1 Scene 5 when Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth. In this letter Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth about the battle won but also the witches’ prophecy of kingship. Soon after the letter is read by Lady Macbeth she explains how she fears that’s Macbeth is too decent and squeamish to murder King Duncan for his crown. This provides more evidence that Macbeth would not have thought of killing the king for his leadership, it is also in this scene we see Lady Macbeth’s character instantly changes. “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty”. In this speech from her she is asking evil spirits to fill her with cruelty and wish to be male...
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