At this point, Macbeth nearly entirely trusts the witch’s prophecies. This further deepens Macbeth’s ambition to become king and creates uncertainty in him. After learning that king Duncan has made Malcolm the Prince of Cumberland and heir to his throne, Macbeth thinks to himself "Stars, hide your fires; / Let not light see my black and deep desires. / The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be / Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see" (1.4.57-60). This further shows Macbeth’s greed and intent to become king has grown.
After the victory of Banquo and Macbeth against the king 's traitor Macdonwald the witches presence contract the vibe of manipulation seeking Macbeth as its next victim. As they encounter with Macbeth and Banquo, they start-off questioning the trio of leery ladies. "look not like the inhabitants of the earth, / And yet are on it"; they seem to understand him, and yet he cannot be sure; they "should be women," and yet they are bearded. One by one the witches told Macbeth his upcoming abundance of power leaving him immensely petrified. As a result the prophecies were the contemporary force plaguing Macbeth into slaughtering King Duncan for his aspiration.
In the play, Macbeth says to himself, "The ruler of Cumberland! That is a stage I should either tumble down from or else jump over, for it lies in my way. "(Act 1 scene 4 Lines 55-57)
Who’s to blame? The supernatural soliciting of the witches’ is partially, but not fully, to blame for the events in William Shakespeare Macbeth. While the witches give Macbeth concepts, the events that determine the course of the play are the fault of his actions caused by his desires, influences and ignorance. Macbeth perceives the witches’ predictions as dependable sources of information on which to make decisions.
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
away, and mock the time with fairest show: false face must hide what the false heart doth know.” (i. vii. 79-82) Once Macbeth becomes king he goes through the most drastic character change in the play. He is no longer the scheming plotter that he had been throughout most of the play be he now is someone who takes to bloodshed readily and is not afraid to kill for his own gain.
Macbeth is ultimately responsible for his own downfall because of his ambition, and guilt. Throughout all of Macbeth, the protagonist predominantly showcases too much ambition which ultimately leads to his demise. When the Thane of Glamis first hears of the weïrd sisters’ predictions, he is intrigued. He demands the witches “Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more” (1.3.68).
King Duncan is already Thane of Cawdor, so it makes Macbeth think that he has to do something to make the prediction come true. Later in the story, the witches make more predictions for Macbeth, but these predictions are used to mess with Macbeth’s head. The second apparition that the witches’ summon says, “Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
and obtains the title, which trigger an arrogant and self-absorbed thinking leading to madness and finally, death. The play seems to bring up the question, whether Macbeth is fully responsible of his own destiny, or under control of fate. In the first glance, the play seems to take rather fatalistic direction, meaning that we are powerless to make decisions as they are inevitably determined by supernatural power (Hugh 1)) It is due to the presence of supernatural forces throughout the whole play that systematically fulfills the prophecy; therefore the witches represent the idea of fate in the play. However, Shakespeare seems to rather intertwine fate with free will and perhaps even promotes the second philosophy as the play evolves.
The three witches who mention the prophecy that Macbeth will be king firstly influence him. The witches chant, “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth!
Moreover, it is shown that Macbeth is not just a character that the witches try to control, but that he has enough choice to create his own path in life. Macbeth lets the witches’ prediction, that he “...shalt be king hereafter” (Shakespeare I.iii.53), influence the decisions he makes. Macbeth blindly listens to the witches’ prophecy without any proof, so he “... is not only a tyrant, but also his unselfconscious superstition causes him to be an incompetent one” (McGrail 32). Macbeth chooses to believe in the witches rather than dismissing their words like Banquo does. Therefore, it is this choice that leads him to his doomed fate.
He compromises his honor and negates moral responsibility to attain power and position which results in his tragic end. From the beginning, Macbeth was faced with choices and he continuously kept on making bad ones. The witches vision for the future of him becoming king together with his ambition drove Macbeth to commit a crime, make a choice that would then continue to haunt him forever. With significant influence from Lady Macbeth, he decided to take action and murder King Duncan. We see him consider his choice to kill Duncan in soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 7 “If it were done”.
5-7). In this instance, Macbeth shows that he can feel guilt, and he exhibits this by demonstrating that he does not desire to end the life of a man whose family was already victimized at his hands. Guilt is the one thing throughout the entire play that stops Macbeth dead in his tracks and causes him to take a moment to consider his present and future courses of action. Although Macbeth was lead to commit murder by the witches’ manipulative predictions of the future, he is the one who ultimately makes the choices that prove that he is in control of his actions, even when his actions cause him to be filled with
(1.3 50). When Macbeth sees the Witches for the first time they tell him he is going to become a King. Macbeth gets inspiration and ambitions of becoming the King of Scotland. After this meeting Macbeth becomes determined to reach goal and his wife forces him to murder the current King. The Witches subvert the stereotypical gender roles as they are females with power which gives them masculine characteristics.