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The Witches' Influence on Macbeth - Research Paper Example

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This story of William Shakespeare demonstrates how inordinate ambition can corrupt a good man such as Macbeth. Once a loyal general of Duncan, became a treacherous and murderous man that spared no one to advance and keep himself in power. …
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The Witches Influence on Macbeth
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Download file to see previous pages The Tragedy of Macbeth is a classic story penned by William Shakespeare that depicted how a man will fall into self-destruction with his excessive greed and inordinate ambition. Although there were several factors that led to Macbeth’s self-destruction that includes his ambition and the machination of Lady Macbeth, it was the witches who led him into self-destruction with his murderous spree beginning with the assassination of the King (Duncan), to murdering his friend Banquo, to the massacre of Macduff’s wife and children in a gratuitous act of violence whose only motivation is revenge. Under his rule, Scotland becomes a country ‘‘where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air⁄ Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems⁄ A modern ecstasy’’ (Tarantelli 1483).
The Witches, being despicable in nature yet seductive in their prophesies were an abomination during Shakespeare’s time that it was not considered a crime to hunt and burn them (Perkins 53). The debauchery of their morals were evident in the opening scene in the play that they cried in unison in Scene I Act I “fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air” (Shakespeare). It attests their turpitude to bend what is right and wrong by corrupting what is fair to be wrong that being foul is fair. They are out to cast evil to anyone whom they come in touch with which in Shakespeare’s play, was the unfortunate Macbeth.
The prophesies of the Witches or the weird sisters appealed to Macbeth’s ambition because it served him well to be King. Such that when they prophesized that he will become thane of Glamis, thane Cawdor and then King, the idea just proved to be irresistible for Macbeth to overcome. “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!, All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!, All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! (Act I Scene III). From then on, Macbeth became consumed with the ambition of being a King that he went as far as killing anybody that stood his way. When he became King of Scotland, he was unloved by his subjects and his reign was filled with the snares of watchful tyranny that when he was slain by McDuff, he was referred to as “this dead butcher” (Tarantelli 1483). Macbeth begun to entertain the idea that he can be King of Scotland when the prophesy that he will be thane of Cawdor came true after he defeated Norway during a battle and killed the thane of Cawdor. He then believed that indeed the Witches can see the future which no man can see and the prophesy that he will be King is a very seductive idea (Ghose 236). But for the prophesy to come true, that would mean eliminating the current King, Duncan who sits at the throne. Although Macbeth was adamant at first, he eventually acceded to the idea of assassinating Duncan after Lady Macbeth persuaded or manipulated him to do so. Both of them conspired to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth would spike the drink of Duncan’s servants with liquor and on her signal Macbeth would stalk into Duncan’s room to carry out the murder. Not contented with his initial kill, Macbeth became consumed with murder that he also killed Duncan’s servants so that there will be no witness of his crime. It may be Lady Macbeth’s machination that finally compelled Macbeth to carry out the murder of Duncan to become King but it was the third Witch who first gave him the idea exclaiming in Act I Scene II “all hail Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! From then on, Macbeth became a disturbed man. It only took a little prodding and machination from Lady Macbeth for him to finally give in and murder Duncan. The idea was already implanted by the Witches in Macbeth’s ambitious subconscious and Lady Macbeth only prodded him to act on it. Only unfortunately, it requires a series of murder. Now that Macbeth is King, the Witches grip on him is already undeniable as he take their prophesies with certainty and almost an absolute truth even if the idea was absurd, vague and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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