By calling him Thane of Cawdor, and informing him that he "shalt be king hereafter," they serve to strengthen the desire that already exists in his heart. When he is actually given the title of Thane of Cawdor, he begins to believe that the witches may be indeed speaking the truth. However, the witches did not place the idea of murder in Macbeth's mind, but it is he who first plans Duncan's murder, as seen by the quote from his soliloquy "Present fears are less than horrible imaginings. My ... ... middle of paper ... ...him. "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.
From the very first scene we can see that they want Macbeth’s end to be a tragedy. In the first scene they intend to go, “There to meet Macbeth”, which implies that the witches don’t just happen to meet him. They want to go and meet him, they organise, plot and scheme to go and meet him. This shows that it is important for the witches to see Macbeth. The Victorians were very superstitious and would believe that witches scheme and plot in malevolence ways.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” The main character of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth, is filled with ambition. Macbeth is a Shakespearean play in which Macbeth is given a prophecy by three witches which tells that he will eventually become king of Scotland. Macbeth, filled with ambition to fulfill these predictions, let’s nothing get in his way.
Even before Macbeth appeared for the first time we had quite a clear picture of him. The first words Macbeth speaks, “So fair and foul a day I ne’er have seen” mirror the first words we hear from the witches. When Macbeth meets the witches they seem to know a lot about him and start implanting the idea of becoming king in his mind. Macbeth is taken aback by the witches and their prophecies which suggests that Macbeth has thought about it before and is frightened that his secret has been uncovered. When the messengers arrive with the news that Macbeth has earned the title of Thane of Cawdor this acts as a catalyst in his lust for power and quest to become king.
However, when we do meet Macbeth this original opinion begins to falter. The very first line he says is 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen.' This instantly connects him to the witches as the line is very similar to the witches 'fair is foul and foul is fair' chant at the end of scene 1. As people in the time of James I saw witchcraft as an undoubtedly evil thing, it would also taint his heroic status, which he received from the words of Malcolm in scene 2. This would create interest as the audience could want to see if this supernatural connection developed.
One murder leads to another, and he spins himself into a web of paranoid chaos. He continues to go back to the witches to hear their prophecies about how his life will play out. William Shakespeare makes the roles of the witches imperative because they create the storyline and spark Macbeth’s actions, all while ruining his life. The witches can predict the future and impact Macbeth, but they cannot control his fate. Macbeth’s demise was perhaps planned by the witches, but it was his own free will that led him to evil.
He revisits the witches in search the outcome of his future. The prophecies seem promising on his behalf in the beginning until he is informed with disturbing news about Banquo children ever reigning. “Shall Banquo ever reign in this kingdom?”(3.5) Macbeth being thwarted with the witch’s news contemplates on his final most evil deed. Macbeth plans to kill the family of Banquo to prevent the secession of future rulers.
The three witches are introduced at the beginning of the play; they give Macbeth three prophecies, that he will be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis and King. The witches can foretell the future; they add temptation and influence Macbeth but they cannot control his destiny. The witches themselves have no particular goal to reach. When it comes to Macbeth they are just having fun. As Hecate argues, all they achieve is: 'How did you dare/ To trade and traffic with Macbeth/ In riddles and affairs of death' The language used here by Hecate is dark and unpleasant, and the way 'death' is used, implies that the witches could have known that their interference would lead to the death of characters.
Once Duncan pronounces Macbeth with the title of Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth starts to really believe that the witch’s prophecy might indeed come true. Banquo notices his deep thought as he says ‘Look, how our partner’s rapt’, implying the start of Macbeth’s inner conflict between good and evil, as ‘rapt’ means trance or dazed state. The prophecy takes over Macbeth’s thoughts and in one of his asides h... ... middle of paper ... ...n good and evil. The witches manipulate Macbeth into fighting Macduff through the use of equivocation, which was very popular in the time in which the play was written because in the trials that followed the gun powder plot, a conspirator called Henry Garnet became notorious for equivocating. Macbeth was written in the same year as Garnet’s trial and as a result Shakespeare uses equivocation greatly throughout the play.
We can now clearly see that ambition not achieved through our own ability leads to destruction. 'Hail Thane of Glamis and of Cawdor and shalt be King hereafter'. (Act 1 Scene 3) These prophecies from three strangers are taken without question and probably without good judgment. Just the thought that he may be King clouds his thoughts and ambition takes over. The witches can predict the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, but they cannot control his destiny.