Is Macbeth responsible for his actions?
When reading William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we really have to contemplate whether Macbeth was responsible for his actions or whether he was manipulated and persuaded by people around him. When scrutinising the play in detail, the events show that, without the persuasion of Lady Macbeth, the witches and the ambition to become king, the events that occurred in the play wouldn’t have happened the way they did. The witches’ role in Macbeth’s downfall occurred at the beginning of the play when they greeted Macbeth and predicted the opportunities that would become available to him. “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail Macbeth and Banquo.” Greeting Macbeth and informing him that he would become the future king of Scotland; the witches have intoxicated Macbeth with the prospect of future honour and glory. Hearing the predictions of the witches, Macbeth informed his wife, Lady Macbeth, of the wonderful news. Lady Macbeth’s initial persuasion of her husband occurs as soon as she had read Macbeth’s letter informing her of the witches’ prophesies. After having read the letter, Lady Macbeth then convinces her husband by telling him to put “...This night’s great business into my dispatch... leave all the rest to me.” Lady Macbeth suggests that in this way they will have absolute royal power for the rest of their lives. She tells him her information will “give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.” Lady Macbeth is a rapacious individual; she preys on her husband’s weaknesses. She desires to have great power; she doesn’t care how she gains the power as long as she is in control. The only thing on her mind is power and the status that comes with royalty. She evokes spirits to become as unfeminine as possible, “unsex me here” she realises the need to lose all her feminine traits and qualities and become cruel and ruthless. Lady Macbeth is so determined to influence her husband to kill King Duncan. She believes the...
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