"To what extent are the witches and Lady Macbeth responsible for Macbeth's actions?"

Good Essays
Topics: Macbeth
Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a play that portrays Macbeth, who is an ambitious character, being manipulated and motivated by female powers. Macbeth is initially depicted as a brave and capable warrior but his physical courage is joined by a consuming ambition- to become King of Scotland. It was his encounter with the witches, or otherwise referred to as the "weird sisters", that motivated and inspired Macbeth to murder Duncan and therefore become the King of Scotland. However, it was mainly Lady Macbeth's persuasion that had influenced Macbeth to perform his actions which had lead onto other regretful actions including the murder of Banquo and MacDuff's family. It was the witches who were accountable for Macbeth's tragic downfall as their apparitions did not only confuse Macbeth but had caused him to misinterpret his future as predicted by the witches. Lady Macbeth and the witches were responsible, to a great extent, for Macbeth's actions.

During the first Act of the play, Macbeth and Banquo, who were returning victorious from battle, encounter three witches who greeted Macbeth as the "Thane of Glamis", "Thane of Cawdor" and "Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter" (Act I Scene III line 49). It is evident that Macbeth had thought of becoming King prior to meeting the witches, but it was their greetings that had reinforced his thoughts and ambition. Banquo was quick to reassure Macbeth that "The instruments of Darkness tell us truths; win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence" but Macbeth was able to learn some truth from the prophecies as he was later greeted by Ross and Angus claiming that he had become the Thane of Cawdor- just like the witches had prophesised. It was at this point where Macbeth felt excited and the truthful prophecies had bought him joy yet inner turmoil. The terrible weather when he meets the witches reflects corruption in moral and political order and is a sign of foreshadowing used to indicate that Macbeth's

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    During the many events that occur in the play ‘Macbeth’ people come to ask questions about whether the main character Macbeth’s actions were in any way influenced by a supernatural force. This force would have been implied by the three witches who appear throughout the book and maybe the scenes in which Hecate, leader of the witches, appears. An example of one of these ‘events’ was when Macbeth was spurred on to kill Duncan by seeing the image of a floating dagger. This could have been due to his…

    • 696 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The witches and Lady Macbeth are largely responsible for Macbeth’s downfall The play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare depicts the beginning and end of a tyrant who loses his strength of will. It can be said however that the fault is not Macbeth’s alone as the witches and Lady Macbeth were partly responsible for Macbeth’s downfall. This can be shown through a variety of techniques such as symbolism, metaphors and the use of dialogue. The moment Lady Macbeth receives the letter from her husband…

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Macbeth: The Witches' Responsibility for Macbeth's Actions The three witches that are introduced at the beginning of the play are responsible for the introduction of the ideas that caused Duncan's death and Macbeth's destruction but not for Macbeth's actions themselves. They recount to Macbeth three prophecies; that Macbeth will be: 1) Thane of Cawdor, 2) Thane of Glamis, and 3) King. Macbeth welcomes the ideas spawned from the witches' prophecies, which is what triggered the spiral of events…

    • 1033 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s action resulted in a lot of guilt. Guilt can mean two different things. It can either mean your responsibility for a crime or your state of mind after committing one (Nelson, Cassandra). Their conscience did not kick in at the same time but they both suffered from it. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were hurt physically and mentally by their guilt. Macbeth suffered right after committing a crime, while Lady Macbeth’s guilt was delayed. Their guilt was also brought out by their…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Although Macbeth does take actions that lead to his downfall, I believe that he is not totally responsible for what happens. Although he takes the action that leads to his downfall, he perhaps would not have done this if the witches had not told him that he would be king in Act 1 Scene 3. I believe that it is the witches are more responsible for Macbeth's downfall than he is.<br><br>In Act 1, Scene 3, the witches tell Macbeth that he is thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor and that he "shalt be king…

    • 405 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. When we first see her, she is already plotting Duncan’s murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder.This theme of the relationship between gender and power is key to Lady Macbeth’s character.Lady Macbeth and also the witches are crafty women,who use female methods of achieving power—that…

    • 757 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Witches Effects on the Actions of Macbeth Three of the minor rolls in Macbeth cause the most chaos with the littlest effort. They are the witches. They use their power of suggestion to ruin all that they can. By simply suggesting things to Macbeth, they turn this proud and loyal man into a cold blooded killer. Some may say that Macbeth was unwillingly forced into his situation, but this is not true, he could have simply ignored the words of the weird sisters. His best friend, Banquo, was with…

    • 488 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lady Macbeth is responsible for the fall of her husband It can be said that Lady Macbeth is responsible for the fall of Macbeth. I believe that she was partly responsible for this. I believe that two sets of people are responsible for the fall of Macbeth.. Secondly I believe that Lady Macbeth is responsible for his fall. She urges him to kill Duncan questioning his manly-hood and saying that he was too kind. Finally I believe that the witches played a huge part in the fall of Macbeth. The witches…

    • 892 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Moreover, besides the "wired sisters", Lady Macbeth is patently viewed as a significant affect to the actions of Macbeth. As Macbeth's wife, she has a strong impact to contribute to Macbeth's downfall. She is more relentless as well as more ambitious than her husband, immediately conceives the horrible idea of murdering her royal guest. She encourages Macbeth, to betray his will with the most merciless determination(). In order to assist her husband to gets what is foretold to him, she commits the…

    • 855 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Development of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s Relationship The Shakespearean play Macbeth is a deceitful, deceptive and fate-led tragedy in which Macbeth, prophecies of supernatural powers and the assistance of Lady Macbeth create chaos in Scotland. The development of the relationship between Macbeth and his wife is one of the most evident changes which take place throughout the play. Throughout the play, the valiant Macbeth goes from being kind, conscious and dependent on his wife to the character…

    • 976 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays