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A Tale of Two Theories

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Introduction

A Tale of Two Theories Macbeth(c.1607), written by William Shakespeare, is the tragic tale of Macbeth, a virtuous man, corrupted by power and greed. This tagedy could in fact be called "A Tale of Two Theories". One theory suggests that the tragic hero, Macbeth, is led down an unescapable road of doom by an outside force, namely fate in the form of the three witches. The second suggests that there is no supernatural force working against Macbeth, which therefore makes him responsible for his own actions and inevitable downfall. It must be remembered that Macbethis a literary work of art, and as a peice of art is open to many different interpretations, none of them right and none of them wrong. ...read more.

Middle

Second, the witches have to be dispelled as a source of Macbeth's misfortune before the latter theory can be considered. It is admittedly strange that the weird sisters first address Macbeth with,"All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee Thane of Cawdor!"(I.iii.49), a title which not even Macbeth is aware he has been awarded. Even stranger is the third witch calling to Macbeth,"All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!"(I.iii.50). However as stated by Bradley,"No connection of these announcements with any actions of his was even hinted by [the withches]"(232). Some are still not convinced though of the witches less than supernatural role; nevertheless, Macbeth appears throughout the play to be completely aware 3 of his actions, as opposed to being contolled by some mystic force. ...read more.

Conclusion

The answer is clear, Macbeth is a totally cognizant principal and not a mindless puppet. Later the head witch, Hecate, declares,"Hath been but for a wayward son,/Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,/Loves for his own ends, not for you." (III.v.11-13), which again highlights Macbeth's ambitious nature. The most significant part of the play is the part that is missing, and that is a connection between Macbeth's ambition and some spell cast by the weird sisters which might be said to magically cause an increase in his desires. While purposely played in a mysterious setting, the location is not meant to cloud the true theme of the play with the supernatural. Macbeth simply succumbs to natural urges which take him to a fate of his own making. Everyone has character flaws that he must live with; Macbeth simply allowed those flaws to destroy him. ...read more.

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