Macbeth - Downfall of Macbeth
The witches and their prophecies are the first major influence on Macbeth's actions. Macbeth seems happy and content with himself until the witches tell him he will be king. He begins immediately to consider murdering Duncan. "If good, why do I yield to that suggestion / Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair / And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, / Against the use of nature?" (I, iii. 144-147). Macbeth immediately writes Lady Macbeth. "'They met me in the day of success; and I / have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in / them than mortal knowledge." (I, v. 1-3). He obviously has great faith in the witches' words. Later on, the apparitions, called by the witches, influence Macbeth by making him believe he is invincible. "Rebellion's head, rise never, till the wood / Of Birnam rise, and our high-placed Macbeth / Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath / To time, and mortal custom." (IV, i. 106-109).
Lady Macbeth is a second major influence on Macbeth. As soon as Lady Macbeth learns of the witches' words from Macbeth's letter, we learn Macbeth is considered kind and without cruelty. She intends to influence him to kill Duncan. She says, "Hie thee hither, / That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, / And chastise with the valour of my tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round, / Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem / To have thee crown'd withal." (I, v. 24-29). When Macbeth decides not to continue with their plan to murder Duncan, his wife urges him to act on his desires or he will think of himself as a coward. She says, "Art thou afeard / To be the