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The Witches and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth Essay


The influences of both the witches and Lady Macbeth have a major effect on Macbeth in Shakespeares play. The Witches initial prophecies, where they address Macbeth with titles that he doesnt have, initiates Macbeths desire to make them come true. Lady Macbeth wants to see Macbeth reach the witches prophecies and will stop at nothing t o make them come true. The witches and Lady Macbeth manipulate Macbeth to act the way he does because he is vulnerable and easily persuaded.

The witches deceptive predictions give Macbeth a false sense of what is possible, but start his desire to become king. The witches do not only deceive Macbeth, but their predictions tempt him to commit the murder of Duncan. The witches gave their first prophecies to Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 3. They greet Macbeth, knowing who he is before he can introduce himself. The first witch greets him with, All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis(1:3:49). This is the title that he already has, and the only shock in that statement is that the witch knew who he was without introduction. The second witch then says to Macbeth, All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor (1:3:50). This is an immediate puzzle to Macbeth because he thinks that the Thane of Cawdor lives a prosperous gentleman (1:3:72). Also, the fact that Macbeth almost immediately receives the title of Cawdor makes him have confidence in the other predictions of the witches. Then the third witch says to Macbeth, All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter! (1:3:51). Macbeths problem is that he is views the predictions literally. Macbeth is only willing to hear what he wants to of the witches predictions, and he believes in the witches because their prophecies are so tempting. The witches influence Macbeth to want to kill Duncan to become king. Macbeths imagination has been opened to the suggestion as a result of the witches prophecies.

Lady Macbeth serves the role as influencing Macbeth to commit the murder of Duncan. She questions Macbeths masculinity and manhood when he hesitates to kill king Duncan in his own home. Using the comparision to a child she says she would kill her own, in order to keep a promise. I have given suck, and know how tender tis to love the babe that milks me; I would, while it was smiling in my face, have pluckd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashd the brains out, had I sworn as you have done this. (1:7:55-59.) Lady Macbeth has so much power over Macbeth that her actions show she is the greatest influence in his life. Lady Macbeth has to calm some of Macbeths fears in order for him to continue the planned deed of murdering Duncan.

The combination of the influence of the witches and the influence of the Lady Macbeth on Macbeth are without doubt what precipitate the tragedy. The witches initial prophecies set Macbeth up to be doomed in the first place. These visions deceive Macbeth and lead him to believe he is invincible, when that is not the truth. Lady Macbeth also plays a large role in the influence of her husband. She questioned his manliness to get him to commit murder for her. She was able to calm his fears to assure him that the plan would work and benefit him. Lady Macbeth desired to see her husband succeed so much, that shed tell him anything to get him to kill Duncan.

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