Macbeth

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One thing leads to another. This is a statement most people are familiar with, especially if they read William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It tells what happens to the tragic protagonist, Macbeth. At the start of the play, Macbeth is a highly praised and loyal nobleman admired by all until he becomes a victim of the witches. Their promises evoke his unrestrained ambition. From then on, Macbeth’s actions snowball out of his control and under the witches’ power. His unholy deeds trouble his sleep, and the innocent victims return to haunt him. Evil spirits take over his every move and thought. The luring prophecies, sleepless nights, hallucinations, and deceptive apparitions are all products of sorcery used to cloud Macbeth’s moral judgment and lead him to further degradation.
     By pricking Macbeth’s desire for power and prestige with promising prophecies and giving him confidence with the apparitions, the witches lure him to commit evil deeds and to continue doing so endlessly. Their tempting prophecies bait Macbeth into their deceitful plot. Banquo, a fellow nobleman, warns him about the prophecies, “But ‘tis strange: and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence'; (I, 3, 122-127). Banquo is a smart man, and it is unfortunate that Macbeth ignores his advice. To be sure that Macbeth self-destructs by his own sinful behavior, the sorceresses create prophetic images that ensure him security. Not knowing they are all part of the deception, Macbeth easily succumbs to their plan. He aimlessly kills, believing nothing can harm him, but he is dead wrong. The witches true intention is best revealed in Hecate’s orders, “And that distilled by magic sleights shall raise such artificial sprites as by the strength of their illusion shall draw him on to his confusion'; (III, 5, 26-29). Macbeth’s biggest misfortune is encountering the witches, and an even bigger mistake is to revisit them. The cunning scheme of the wicked women successfully leads Macbeth to evil and confuses him enough for him to lose command of his actions.
     Even away from the witches, Macbeth still cannot escape their evil influence. By using hallucination, haunting spirits, and ghostly images, they over-power his ability to make right judgments. Macbeth’s hallucinating experience begins when he sees a dagger leading him to kill King Duncan. Macbeth’s reaction to the sight was, “Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight, or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a fatal creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

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'; (II, 1, 36-39). The dagger is indeed a creation of sorcery which diminishes Macbeth&#8217;s common sense, and eventually it will cause fatal results. Macbeth&#8217;s immoral act of killing the king did earn him the throne, but it cost him his peace of mind. He witnesses ghosts and is unable to rest at night. He expresses his troublesome nightmares, &#8220;Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep in the affliction of these terrible dreams that shake us nightly'; (III, 2, 17-19). The sleepless nights are not only Macbeth&#8217;s fear and guilt, but they are another way for the atrocious hags to mess with his mind. Hallucination, sleepless nights, and ghostly visions are all tools used by the witches to baffle Macbeth.
     Even before the witches first encounter with Macbeth, they have planned out every move needed to lead Macbeth to catastrophe. They drive Macbeth into evil by appealing to his ambition. From then on they have control over his actions. Their plot includes prophecies, hallucinations, nightmares, ghost appearances, and apparitions. These inventions of the sorceresses invade Macbeth sensible state of mind. Therefore, they largely contribute to Macbeth&#8217;s ingression into corruption and his continuous progression towards decline.


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