In the patriarchal Elizabethan society in which witchcraft, chivalry, pride and honor were prominent traits, it was easy to succumb to any influence that compromised your pride and act inhumanely upon it. From the onset of the play, Macbeth is introduced as a strong and noble character, who has great power in society. His pride and glory in battle and leadership define him as a person. As the play progresses, several factors effect his behaviors and turn him barbaric, ranging from the witches to his own wife and even himself.
Shakespeare uses the theme of Ambition to explain Macbeth’s motivations. In Act 1 Scene 3, three witches deliver three prophesies to Macbeth and Banquo. The three witches prophecies that Macbeth will soon become the thane of Cawdor, a noble title. They also promise him he will eventually also become king of Scotland, the highest title man can acquire. Little time after these prophecies are delivered, Macbeth is pronounced thane of Cawdor as the previous thane was found to be a traitor to Scotland. Macbeth starts thinking more seriously and becomes more ambitious about his future position as King of Scotland and ideas of murder and deceit towards the current king well up inside his mind, but he is too reluctant to carry out any of these ideas.
Macbeths wife, Lady Macbeth, also plays a role in Macbeths downfall. After Macbeth tells his wife about the witches, Lady Macbeth comes to the same conclusion as Macbeth without a second though. Macbeth firmly denies the murder of King Duncan, the present king, as he is a gallant king who is loved by everyone. Lady Macbeth claims that Macbeth “is too full o' th'