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The Witches in MacBeth

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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.

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