Did the Three Witches Control Macbeth’s Fate? “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter.” (Shakespeare. I.iii.52). In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Macbeth’s fate can be seen from two different viewpoints. Firstly, the witches could have complete power over Macbeth’s destiny while he has no control whatsoever. On the other hand, there is also the argument that Macbeth carves his own path due to his ambitious nature. However, the witches cannot control the fate of Macbeth because we control our own fates, and our own actions in the present are what shapes our future. Macbeth is seen as a very ambitious character from the start of the play while fighting against the rebels, to the end when he is slain. How he decides he uses his ambition …show more content…
Even he admits to it: “I have no spur. To prick the sides of my intent, but only. Vaulting ambition, which overleaps itself. And falls on the other.” (Shakespeare I.vii.25-27) What Macbeth essentially says here is that his only motivation for killing King Duncan is his ambition. Many would argue that it was not Macbeth’s ambition that caused him to kill King Duncan but instead was his wife using her femininity in order to charm Macbeth into doing as she says . However, Macbeth’s hunger for power was already seen when King Duncan gives Malcolm the title of Prince of Cumberland. Macbeth tells himself that he must not reveal his true intentions: “Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires.” (Shakespeare I.iv.58-59) This shows Macbeth has the intention of claiming the crown for himself before he even talks to Lady Macbeth about what they should do when Duncan arrives at their castle. Furthermore, Shakespeare displays Macbeth's ambitions even earlier in the play while fighting against the rebels. The manner in which he fights against the rebels described by the Sergeant shows how passionate he is to fight on behalf of his king and drive the rebels back. Macbeth evidently has a very ambitious personality, but the way he uses the ambition is changed after hearing the “prophecies” of the
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The three evil witches are said to have control over his future. However, these three were just another mind game that should have been avoided. The witches chant “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter” (I.3.51). In other words, they are saying that Macbeth will be king in the near future. While it may be true the witches can suggest and predict, they never have complete control.
The main characters in Macbeth that are in control are expressed to be, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the three witches. Macbeth shows ambition but is also easily influenced. He follows through with what needs to be done to achieve his goal. Macbeth is in control of his actions but never follows control of the outcomes. “If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me, Without my stir.
At the beginning of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth does not exhibit any ambition to usurp the crown until fate is fully tempted in his face through the three witches’ prophecy. Macbeth is fortuned to become king, but his “means-to-the-end” are a product of freewill. Macbeth says, “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir” (I.iii.157-159). Macbeth considers the fact that he has a choice and that fate will naturally make him king without his influence, but when Malcom is named heir to the throne he is persuaded into action. The witches predict and suggest, but they do not control Macbeth; it is Macbeth himself who chooses, through his own freewill to kill the current king (Duncan) in order to ascertain the fulfillment of this prophecy.
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a well known story that revolves around the word “ambition” but this ambition isn’t always self driven by someone, but rather through the influence of someone else who maintains control of the situation. The story is about a man whose desire to be the king and have power leads to the murders of those who might stand in his way. Throughout the story we see many characters who play major parts in how one event follows another, and how some characters seem to completely have control of the events in the story. Although in Macbeth the Three Sisters and Macbeth exhibit some control over the events, Lady Macbeth has the most responsibility.
As I mentioned above, many critics believe the witches are responsible for Macbeth’s decision to kill Duncan; consequently for his ruin. It is true they, in a way, open for him the possibility to be a king but it would be only his decision whether to make a crime. I believe the witches only fasten the decision of Macbeth to kill the King. I could not agree more with the view about the witches’ influence on Macbeth’s decision to kill Duncan from the English scholar R. A. Foakes, “It seems plain that he has thought of such a possibility before meeting the witches, or at least that his starting at their greetings of him (I. iii. 51) registers his awareness at this moment that what they say gives conscious expression to a half-formed image; and
Macbeth cannot control his paranoia and hallucinations, but he can control his actions towards the prophecies he 's given in the beginning. By the end of the play, his paranoia led to his lonely demise which showed how he believed in the prophecies. Macbeth’s control over his destiny reflects on what the play is teaching us overall. A way Macbeth is in control of his destiny is when he believes in the prophecies.
Both greed and power, if not controlled, can lead to destruction. Throughout William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses both characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to demonstrate how ambition can change one’s personal relationships. As in the beginning of Act 1, Scene 7 Macbeth and Lady Macbeth do not share the same ambition, and it is because of this that their relationship lacks love and affection however through the use of persuasion and other means, Lady Macbeth is able to get Macbeth to pursue her ambition. This not only changes their relationship drastically but it also changes Macbeth’s attitude towards ambition. Throughout the play, Shakespeare shows us through Macbeth, the possibility for ambition to eventually turn into greed and how the lust for power may corrupt us.
Control is a recurring theme in the play "Macbeth" as it warns the audience of the reprecussions of trying to control your fate. The first key event where control features in a significant way is the witches prophecies. They tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland which establishes the importance of fate. Shakespeare conveys the witches as agents of evil that are deceptive and dangerous, "oftentimes to win us to our harm/the instruments of darkness tell us truths," showing that they use truth itself to influence a horrible outcome (Macbeth 's tragic demise.) Their message is compelling and attractive and we can clearly see their effect on Macbeth as it greatly contrasts to that of Banquo.
Early on in the story it is revealed that Macbeth wants to become the king after listening from the prophecy told by the three wyrd witches. One example is when Macbeth says” Two predictions have come true. The First towards the ultimate goal, the throne!” (1.3.130-135). That proves that Macbeth has a lot of ambition to become the new king and to over throne Duncan.
Importance of control elsewhere in the play • How control is shown • Reasons for control within the play Control is a recurring theme in the play "Macbeth" as it warns the audience of the repercussions of trying to control your fate. The first key event where control features in a significant way is the witches' prophecies. They tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland which establishes the importance of fate. Shakespeare conveys the witches as agents of evil that are deceptive and dangerous, "oftentimes to win us to our harm/the instruments of darkness tell us truths," showing that they use truth itself to influence a horrible outcome (Macbeth's tragic demise.) Their message is compelling and attractive and we
Lady Macbeth is power hungry for the throne and she will do anything to achieve her goal. Her pleasure of having the thought of killing Duncan is revealed. These murderous thoughts that run through her mind shows how desperate she is to acquire power. Although it is the beginning of the play, her dark ambitions sets a dark tone for her character in the play. This coincidentally adds to the assurance of Macbeth’s prophecy which is that Macbeth will become king, but King Duncan is still alive.
To let something else control you, you first must give up all control of your own. By killing Duncan in a self-fulfilling prophecy, he hands some of his self-control over to the witches and the prophecy itself. However, Macbeth’s ambition extends farther than just present power. “Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown / And put a barren scepter in my grip” (3.1.66-67). Macbeth is worried about his lineage.
Macbeth’s ambition is one of the most prominent things that drive Macbeth in the play and truly becomes evident when he hears of the Witches prophecies. When the witches stop talking, he demands to know more. “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more” (I, III, 73-74). This portrays his excessive curiosity on the subject as well as his craving for more desirable prophecies. This ambitious nature and craving for power is also demonstrated only moments after hearing the witches, when he starts formulating a plan to kill Duncan in order to make the third prophecy come true.
In conclusion, the ones that held the most power in the play Macbeth were the Three Witches. They were powerful, held the magic of prophecy, manipulation, and lie. They knew about the future of Macduff and Macbeth, and many others. They helped innocent people kill other innocents. They knew Macbeth would have to die and Macduff live at the end.
At first these thoughts remain hidden, but when the witches approach him with their predictions his desires reform his character. The witches wait for Macbeth and tell him series of predictions. The specific prediction, “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.51) causes Macbeth’s desire to become more intensified. Their prediction that he would become king brings a change in his character.