• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Witches in MacBeth

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Witches In MacBeth The witches in Macbeth serve to advance the story, reveal human weakness, heighten the tension and give the audience a hint of things to come, but they do not control Macbeth or anyone else in the play. The only power they have over Macbeth is their ability to reinforce an idea that was already in his head. Their role is made clear when Hecate speaks to them, " And which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son." ( act 3 scene 5 ) She suggests that they do not have the power to make him do the evil and mischief that they want. Nor do they need that power. Macbeth is fully capable of doing all the mischief and evil on his own. How do individuals control others? How would the witches control Macbeth? This can usually be done by physical and/or emotional force. Fear and threats, rewards and praise work to control others. These tools work to different degrees on different people. So much of what is called control depends on the person that is being controlled. ...read more.

Middle

( act 1 scene 3) If he calls the ultimate goal, a throne, then he has been entertaining this idea before. In his life he has prioritized his ambitions, and the title of king is what he considers the highest step. As a brave an honorable leader of the king's army, shouldn't his highest goal be to serve? As an honorable man with strong morals shouldn't his ultimate goal be a decent life and a heavenly reward? Ambition drives Macbeth. He only needs the suggestions of things that might be his to push him on. There is no sense of moral right to keep him from murder. He hesitates only because he fears the earthly consequences not because it would be sinful. "---- If the assassination could trummel up the consequences." "---- But in these cases we still have judgment here." ( act 1scene 7) He does not realize that his struggle is not against evil but for good. The witches do not command Macbeth to kill Duncan or anyone else. The 3 murder of his king is his decision. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth is reassured. How can a man not be born of woman, and woods do not walk. He has heard just what he wanted to hear. The last two warnings are what he thinks about and he all but dismisses the first: " Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the Thane of Fife!" ( act 4 scene 1 ) Had he listened carefully to the first warning, he undoubtably would have found a way to kill Macduff. But, again the witches have given Macbeth what 4 he thought he needed. Time and again, the witches appear in the play. They warn, predict and tempt, but they do not control Macbeth. There is no spell cast over him, no deals are struck or bargains made. He is the master of his own fate. He controls his own life. The decisions are his as well as the sins of his deeds. He is the master of his own fate no matter how gruesome that turned out to be. The witches laid out before Macbeth many of the temptations that await mankind. How these temptations are delt with depends on mans' character and moral strength. While the witches tempted, and Lady Macbeth connived, it was ultimately up to Macbeth to say, " No " and put away the knife. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Macbeth essays

  1. What is the role of the witches in Macbeth?

    Then the first witch applies guts, toads and poison to the potion and together the witches say a spell. Again, this time the second witch adds a snake, eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog, tongue of snake, small snakes sting, lizards leg and finally a baby owls wing to the potion.

  2. Discuss the role of witches in Act 1 of

    He also used true facts and events, which he altered and modified to develop sensational plays. He also used the method of improving plays to generate a more distorted view of historical events to reinforce a link between the monarch's views.

  1. Macbeth - Do the witches heighten the dramatic impact of the play?

    This would heighten the dramatic impact of the play because the way the other characters talk about the witches is that it causes conflict in the play and when the watching audience hear the other characters talking about how devilish the witches look like this makes it dramatic because its

  2. Macbeth was led down to an inescapable road of doom by an outside force, ...

    For Macbeth. Ambition was what drove him to become great, it forced him to change his nature towards evil. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth was portrayed as a courageous soldier who fought for his King without mercy. But once the witches planted the seeds of greater things and Lady Macbeth

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work