Macbeth as the Victim

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, Lady Macbeth Pages: 3 (887 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Macbeth is made to believe that it is his destiny to become king. Despite his original disbelief, circumstances prove to persuade him to believe in the prophecies told by the three witches. In addition, Lady Macbeth acts as an effective instrument of evil in coaxing him to 'fulfill his destiny'. Once Lady Macbeth and the three witches convince him to kill the king, he is forced into a dark world of paranoia, deceit, guilt, fame, fortune and power of which he cannot possibly be expected to escape. Macbeth's evil actions are due to the influence of his wife and the three witches, and therefore, he can hardly be held accountable.

In Act One, Scene Three, Macbeth encounters the three witches and from that point on his life is plagued with evil ambitions. Until this point, he has not even entertained the idea of kingship and his reaction to the second prophecy illustrates his disposition towards the idea presented to him:

This supernatural soliciting
cannot be ill, cannot be good.
If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am Than of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated hear knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature?(I. iii, 142-149)

The promise of prosperity and fortune arise uneasy emotions in Macbeth to say the least. The evil influence that transforms Macbeth into a tyrant can obviously be seen to cause him nervousness and apprehensiveness about betraying his love and loyalty to the king. How can he be held accountable for a devious plan which he was forced to accept and execute? The thoughts which are planted in his head by the three wyrd sisters, are reinforced by the arrival of Ross and Angus who tell him he has been pronounced the Thane of Cawdor. Although Macbeth does not realize the intentions of the witches, Banquo does:

But t'is strange,
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,...
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