Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - The Witches and Lady Macbeth

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Influence of the Witches and Lady Macbeth The last person you would expect to encourage you to commit a crime would be your wife. Macbeth is motivated by his wife and by three Witches and gradually becomes more ruthless, evil, and murderous as the play progresses. Lady Macbeth is first introduced in Act1 Scene 5: reading a letter receives from Macbeth describing the encounter with the Witches, and the prophecies which they given him. Lady Macbeth is very ambitious; believes that Macbeth is too kind and loyal to take the steps needed to become king. "Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o’ the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way." Lady Macbeth uses the weaknesses of Macbeth to convince him to kill King Duncan: she challenges his manhood "When you durst do it, then you were a man." "Thou esteem’st the ornament of life and live a coward in thine own esteem." She tries to make him feel guilt: Macbeth promised to kill Duncan he changes his mind. "What beast was’t, then that made break this enterprise to me" In Macbeth the Witches are shown as being evil, conniving, and cruel. "Here I have a pilot’s thumb, wreck’d, as homeward he did come." The Witches play a major role in convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan. They give Macbeth and Bonquo three prophecies: "all hail Macbeth hail to thee, thane of Cawdor" "all hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter" "thou shalt get kings, though be none." Bonquo doesn’t take these prophecies seriously, but Macbeth shows some ambition for power. "If chance will have me king, why, chance will crown me." Macbeth becomes more dependent to the Witches. In Act 4 scene 1 Macbeth returns to the weird sisters, demanding what the future would bring. The Witches gave him three prophecies: "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff, beware the thane of Fife." "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" "Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill." As the play goes on Macbeth turns for the worse. He becomes more ruthless, evil, and murderous. After killing Duncan, Macbeth feels remorse and guilt. "To know my deed, ‘twere best not know myself. Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou could’st." Not being able to return to Duncans room and place the knives is a show of weakness and remorse.

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