Manipulation in Macbeth

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In William Shakespeare's play "Macbeth", manipulation is a very effective device. The main character Macbeth is a puppet controlled by the words coming from the three witches and Lady Macbeth. The four troublemakers provide Macbeth with the motivation and confidence he needs to kill Duncan and perform other dark actions. Macbeth is very ambitious; there’s no doubt about this. However, there is no sign of him changing from a loyal man to a power hungry man. That is until outside influences begin to interfere with his life. The people with the greatest impact on Macbeth are his wife, Lady Macbeth and the witches. However, he then learns to manipulate others himself. In the end, all the treachery is revealed and he realizes that he has been a pawn in this whole scheme of achieving absolute power.

Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband on two occasions. “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be, what thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o’ the milk of human kindness, to catch the nearest way: thou woulds’t be great:” (I, v). First she flatters Macbeth and soothes his early fears of committing these dreadful acts. During the party she uses her most powerful persuasion, as she begins to question Macbeth’s honor and manhood by saying that he is less of a man if he fails in killing Duncan. Macbeth feels so much shame that he’s convinced that it is right for him to take action. If it weren’t for Lady Macbeth’s harassment, Macbeth would have never gone down this awful road that has an inevitable dead-end. However, the witches are at the roots of all this manipulation.

The witches are the first to raise the possibility of Kingship and persuade Macbeth to act on it. “All hail Macbeth; hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth; hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth; thou shat be King hereafter.”(I, iii) The witches are polite towards Macbeth. They all hail to him, showing respect and flattery. They then offer him a...
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