Major British Writers
14 May 2012
Macbeth: Influential Forces
“All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! / All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! / All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter” (1.3. 48-50). This is said by the witches, who end up leading Macbeth down a very treacherous trail. Throughout William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, there are many people who influence Macbeth to his demise. Lady Macbeth, the wyrd sisters, and also Macbeth himself all play a key role in the demise of Macbeth. Although there were many contributing factors, the three most prevalent factors in Macbeth’s downfall are the wyrd sisters’ corruption of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s influence on him, and his own greed.
First the wyrd sisters’ corruption of Macbeth, which occurs at the very beginning of the story, gives him hope for power and causes Macbeth’s blind ambition. The sisters telling Macbeth what he could be corrupts his vision and his emotions. The sisters say “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! / […] / Thou shalt get kings, though thou be / none: / So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” (1.3.4-6). The wyrd sisters manipulate Macbeth by saying these things. These ideas lead him toward the moment when he is willing to kill Duncan. He ponders, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. / I have thee not, and yet I see thee still” (2.1.33-35). Later in the play, the witches further manipulate him into thinking he will become king and not have his position threatened by saying, “Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until / Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill / Shall come against him” (4.1.92-94). Macbeth is influenced by the wyrd sisters on multiple occasions, and these occasions lead to his demise.
Another major influence on Macbeth is Lady Macbeth trying to make him become king by helping him commit murders and cover their actions. For example, when...