How Does Macbeth React to the Witches Prophecies?
Throughout the first act of the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Macbeth is controlled by his emotions more then his personal qualities as a strong and brave leader. One of his initial qualities as determined man, appear by the ending of the battle as he eliminates wounded enemy warrior. The willing to win battle makes him ambitious because he kills already wounded man who can not cause any harm to him. After the battle Macbeth crosses the witches who predict him that he will be thane of Cawdor and ultimately will become a king and Banqou’s offspring will continue the line of kings after the death of Macbeth. Initially Macbeth together with Banquo were skeptical regarding the prophecy. Banquo easily forgets the prophecy and make believe as it never happened, but Macbeth is worried about what happened and keeps the foretelling in mind. Yet he does not have any emotions until messenger will bring him news that he became new Thane of Cawdor. As soon as witches vanish, Macbeth gets promoted and his ambition takes over him
As in his mind he started imagining how he will be promoted to king. “We will establish our estate upon our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter The Prince of Cumberland - Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 37 – 39” In this quote Macbeth is talking to the person who is currently takes the position of a prince who will take a duty of the ruler after the king dies. Right at this moments Macbeth’s cruel plan of how to be crowned is born. But this though is quickly vanished away as the fear started to follow him. The fear was cursed by witches in the begging of the play: "Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his penthouse lid; He shall live a man forbid: Weary… - Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 18 – 22” He was afraid that if he would kill the king and his next heir he will be haunted for the rest of his life. And again ambition takes over him and removes the fear when he talk to the prince, his main barrier on the way to be a king: "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires - Act 1, Scene 4, Lines 48 – 51”
When Macbeth gets home, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have conversation about witch’s appearance and their prophecy. At first Macbeth refuses to do such a thing to his king, as Macbeth is very loyal person. Lady Macbeth, his wife, knows that he is an ambitious man and convinces him to kill Duncan, while he is asleep. Macbeth’s love towards his wife was infinite, therefore he decided to agree with her that he will become king: "Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One: two: why, then 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" - Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 34 – 39” The Macbeth’s love and ambitious make him evil and makes him do cruel things. The wife, knowing Macbeth very well, uses it to complete the plan and the prophecy and not minding on his fears. The outcome that could be made here is that emotions make up big part of our life. Here we have an example how emotions control man’s life and turn him into cruel man without any limits. Later on in the play, the Macbeth actually kills Duncan and attempts to kill his heir but he fails. He kills as well his companion Banquo. If Macbeth would control his emotions, Duncan would be alive and he would become king eventually, without killing anyone. From another side, being ambitious is very good trait, as person who posses it never leaves work undone or always gets what he/she wants. One of the most important feelings or emotions in a play “Macbeth” is love because, Macbeth to kill Duncan and make himself a king earlier because his beloved wife convinced him to do so. The point of this conflict possibly could be to control your emotions in what ever situation your are.
By Dimitry Dovzhanitsa
To Mr. De Wilde
Class: English A, 11i