British lit block 4
The witches on the other hand contribute heavily to the 'drama'. Their prophecies accelerate the already-scheming and ambitious man in Macbeth and lead him to commit the horrifying crimes, which ultimately, cause his downfall. Their appearances in the play are the darkest, gloomiest aspects and signify the power of evil being able to tempt man into his own downfall.
In considering the dramatic significance of the play, we might think of whether Macbeth is a tragic hero. Act 1 at first tells us he is heroic; we quickly learns he has a fatal flaw, ambition. But is he responsible for his fall & does he learn from his mistake. We turn to the witches: do they dictate his fate? Many argue that Macbeth would not have gotten into the mess he did if the witches had not appeared to him in the first place. Remember, they are never up to any good, but since Banquo resists temptation, certainly Macbeth could have as well. Second, does he learn from his mistake?
In the final scene of the play, he first speaks to MacDuff with hubris, but right before he dies, Macbeth again speaks like the warrior he was at the beginning of the play, telling MacDuff: “I will not yield, / . . . Yet I will try the last." Although he certainly ends the play bravely, but he doesn't admit he has done wrong or that he is guilty of excessive ambition. To the extent that he does not, he fails as a tragic hero, and that might be the “dramatic significance” of the play.
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