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By careful study of the play decide in committing Duncan's murder how far Macbeth is driven by his own ambition; how far he is dominated by his wife; and how far he is influenced the witches

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Introduction

By careful study of the play decide in committing Duncan's murder how far Macbeth is driven by his own ambition; how far he is dominated by his wife; and how far he is influenced the witches The play "Macbeth" gives the audience plenty of opportunities to consider the reason for the main characters actions. In this essay I will consider how far Macbeth is driven by his own ambition, how far he is dominated by his wife and how far he is influenced by the witches. The very first thing that we hear about Macbeth is that he is a brave warrior. We hear the captain say about him "But all's too weak, for brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name,"(1,ii,16) so before he even appears in the play we only hear positive things about him and we already have an image in our head that he is brave and loyal. We also find out that Macbeth is Duncan's cousin "O valiant cousin,"(1,ii,24), so we also know that he is part of royalty. When Macbeth finds out that he is Thane of Cawdor instead of being happy with this he is already thinking about becoming king. He says "Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor, the greatest is behind," (1,iii,118) By saying this it looks like he believes what the witches have said, as if he is assuming that he will become king and that it is "behind" him. When Macbeth and Banquo first meet the witches, Macbeth is troubled by what the have to say. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth also gets the murderers to ensure the death of Lady MacDuff for no reason other than to have revenge on MacDuff after he goes to England to fight against him. It is clear to the audience that from the start of the play Lady Macbeth is the stronger, more determined one out of the two. As soon as Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth about the witches' predictions and before even speaking to Macbeth she decides that Macbeth is going to be king and that he is to murder Duncan. After reading the letter she says "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised,"(1,v,15) she's saying that Macbeth has Glamis and Cawdor and now he will get what he was promised, to be king. She then says "Thou wouldst be great, art not without ambition, but without illness should attend it,"(1,v,20) She knows Macbeth has ambition, but fears he is too noble to make sure that the prediction is fulfilled. Lady Macbeth talks about defeminising herself to become more of a "man". She says "Unsex me hear," (1,v,41) as in Shakespeare's times women were seen as the weaker sex. She asks the evil spirits to give her strength to murder. When she hears that Duncan is coming to their home she says to herself "Fill me from the crown of the toe top-full of direst cruelty; make thick my blood, stop up th'access and passage to remorse," (1,v,42) ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end Macbeth and the audience are reminded how evil the witches really are. Banquo, however, was wise to the witches from the start and warned Macbeth not to trust them either. I believe that at the start of the play Macbeth is influenced mostly by Lady Macbeth as it is her that persuaded him to kill Duncan and even though it was the witches who told Macbeth that he was going to become King Macbeth said that he was not going to do anything about it until Lady Macbeth persuaded him. After the murder is committed she is still the calmer one. Macbeth seems to be handling everything well until at a dinner he sees Banquos ghost and starts going crazy, again it is Lady Macbeth who calms him down. However, as the play goes on he begins to organise murders with out her and goes to see the witches while she stays at home and goes mad with guilt. By the end of the play I think it is the witches who influence him the most as he listens to and believes everything that they say. It is only at the end, just before Macbeth dies that he realises what a fatal mistake he made by trusting the witches. I think that Lady Macbeth and the witches had a lot of influence over Macbeth but I don't believe they are solely to blame and Macbeth's ambition and drive contributed to it too. By the end he is the one organising murders without telling her. ...read more.

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