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Will of Macbeth

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Thomas Powe Mr. Huh ENG4U1 April 14, 2010 The Will of Macbeth Persuasion is a powerful and threatening tool against those who are weak. It can sway one's decision to choose between good and evil, concealing judgment and jading the conscience. Persuasion plays the critical role of a spectral villain, an invisible danger to the protagonist in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Macbeth is a victim of the persuasion of others, making him ultimately not responsible for his actions. Except for the 5th act, in which Macbeth shows his own form of free will. After the death of his beloved wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth becomes fully conscious of his inevitable death. He reflects to himself that "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon stage And then is heard no more" (5.5.24-26). He begins to realize that death is inevitable for all, and he may be on the way to his death before long. Up until this point in the play, Macbeth has an opinion or thought always influencing him from a separate party, such as the witches or Lady Macbeth. However, Lady Macbeth, one of the central persuasive characters in the play, is dead; it is as if he is free from some sort of spell. ...read more.


This would mean that Macbeth could never meet his death. Lady Macbeth caused her husband to shift alignments from good to evil. However, she is not the only force that made an impact on Macbeth's actions. The three weird sisters and their master plays a role just as significant, if not more, to the fate of the protagonist. The three witches, and even more so their Queen, are portrayed as wise, evil, and powerful women who hold an enormous influence over Macbeth. They are known at the time for their powerful magic and connections with the supernatural. This grants them more an influence over others. With their ability to foretell the future, they easily manipulate Macbeth out of amusement and their pure spite. The witches reveal important prophecies to Macbeth when they meet. As if in harmony, the first witch foretells "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!" (1.3.48). The second which foretells "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!" (1.3.49). And the third witch foretells "All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be King hereafter" (1.3.50). Macbeth seems to believe these predictions and cannot help but to at least consider them to be true. ...read more.


He is a man born not from a woman, but by caesarean section. Macbeth is subtly fooled into false security by this encounter. The third and final apparition, perhaps the most influential of them all, speaks to Macbeth: it tells him to "Be lion-mettl'd, proud...Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him" (4.1.90-94). Once again, Macbeth is fooled into over-confidence and assurance by the witches. This apparition directly tells Macbeth to be prideful, lion-hearted, and to be careless. He presumes that nothing can dislocate an entire forest, so he will be safe. He genuinely believes these prophecies and is now reckless, over-confident, and most of all, vulnerable. Ultimately, Macbeth is not an individual with free will. He is a victim of persuasion. His own wife persuaded him into committing murder and treason, luring him into a life of evil and madness. The witches direct Macbeth's decisions and actions through their magical prophecies and supernatural powers. The three disturbing apparitions fool Macbeth into recklessness and vulnerability, just in time for his deserving but pitiful death. Persuasion is a powerful and threatening tool against those who are vulnerable. Although Macbeth recognizes his own fate and establishes some form of free will, persuasion, and the lack of a will of his own, is what killed him. ?? ?? ?? ?? Powe 1 ...read more.

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