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“What influence do the witches and lady Macbeth have over Macbeth?To what extent was each responsible for his crimes?

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English coursework- Macbeth "What influence do the witches and lady Macbeth have over Macbeth? To what extent was each responsible for his crimes? In the time that William Shakespeare lived in pracitly the whole population were strict Christians and would use demonic personas such as witches and goblins to explain any unfortunate incidents that occurred. Due to this fear and loathing many women were accused of being witches, tried and executed. This hysteria and fear can be seen in modern society although to a lesser extent with asylum seekers or immigrants for example. Using this latent fear and also king James's interest in witchcraft Shakespeare came up with characters of the witches. In the play the play they serve as catalysts for the murder of Duncan and Macbeth's demise as well. Shakespeare illustrates the evil intentions of the witches by using thunder as a stage direction whenever the witches are shown on stage and the description 'A deserted place' this gives me the impression of somewhere that people wouldn't want go like a dark twisting forest, but could be interpreted differently depending on the directors view of the witches. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth is another character that acts as a catalyst for Macbeth killing Duncan Shakespeare has once again used a scary and unusual personality in lady Macbeth to shock his audience. Lady macbeth is not what the audience would expect in a 'noble generals' wife at all; she is in fact very much a bizarre or even evil women in the time of Shakespeare and the view of his audience. The main things that she would be considered abnormal for are the fact that she challenges her husband when he argues that they should not kill Duncan she clashes with him and says " Art thou afeard to be in the same in thine own act and valour, as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which esteeem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would', like the poor cat I' th' adage? By saying this lady Macbeth is acussing Macbeth of just making up excuses as to why they should abstain from the murder. This alone could be considered a bit audacious for a wife to say to her husband in Shakespearian times but lady Macbeth goes even further and argues "What beast was't then that made you break this enterprise to me? ...read more.


Macbeth wouldn't have been able to do it by himself and without her persuasion might not even have tried so she is responsible in my opinion. The witches are responsible for the murder of Banquo, as they told Macbeth that Banquo's children would become kings. This made Macbeth fearful and jealous and to try and keep the royal line his own he murdered Banquo. It could be argued that Macbeth would have killed him anyway because of his obvious suspicions of Macbeth's rise to the throne, but in my opinion Macbeth would not have been fearful without the witches information. Finally Macbeth himself, obviously responsible for all the murders although not entirely. However the murder of Macduff's family was entirely Macbeths doing; so that is his major crime and in my view the worst crime of all as it was for no reason apart from revenge on Macduff and was just the mindless slaughter of women and children. And the second and prevalent moral of the play is that everyone who does malevolent deeds will get their comeuppance. The examples are this are lady Macbeth who goes mad and then dies, and Macbeth who is first hated an in the ends up dying alone with no one lamenting his death. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Thomas 10x2 ...read more.

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