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He would never have thought seriously about killing King Duncan without the witches. Yet the combination of his determined character, the prophecies and his wife's influence leads him to kill the king.

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Introduction

MACBETH COURSEWORK The play Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare in 1606 and it seemed to be written for King James I who was thought to be afraid of witches. In this play the witches and the prediction they gave are very important and affect most of Macbeth�s decisions throughout the play. During Macbeth times witches were not thought to have supernatural powers, they gained their powers by donating their souls to Satan, they were then instructed and controlled by 'familiar spirits�. The three witches are immediately introduced at the beginning of the play and in the brief opening scenes they give an immediate impression of ambiguity, terror and insecurity. This shows that witchcraft will be one of the main themes during the play. In the opening scene the weather is stormy and thundering and there are only the witches in the scene. When you think of a weather with thunder and lighting you think of evilness and destruction which reflect the personality of the witches. When Macbeth meets the witches for the first time, they predict him that he will become Thane of Cawdor, and then King of Scotland. ...read more.

Middle

His best friend has warned Macbeth that the witches were evil and what they said was immoral, this happened before he had made any decisions. The witches' also added influence on Macbeth by telling him that he will become King of Scotland, he is very impatient and tries to hurry things as quickly as possible. The witches cannot control Macbeth actions. He creates his own despair by blaming himself. This causes him to become more unconfident and cause him to commit more murders in order to feel "secure". The witches can only be blamed for introducing these and further ideas in Macbeth head, but they can't be blamed by his actions in the play, as Macbeth is the only one who can really take the final decision. Act 4 scene 1 links to the rest of the play in a number of important ways. We know that Macbeth has achieved his position by killing king Duncan. He has also murdered his friend Banquo because he was suspicious. Banquo is Macbeths's best friend throughout the earlier part of the play but he still decides to have him, and his son murdered as to stop him having any more children who may take the throne away from him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He would never have thought seriously about killing King Duncan without the witches. Yet the combination of his determined character, the prophecies and his wife's influence leads him to kill the king. It is Lady Macbeth who states, "Thou wouldst be great Art not without ambition." Macbeth says that it is "his besetting sin: "I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition." Macbeth's aspiration is deep in him and because of this, both the witches and Lady Macbeth are able to affect him to evil. It is this aspiration that gets him into so much difficulty originally. When Macbeth murders for the first time, he has no choice but to continue to cover up his wrong doings, or risk losing everything he has worked so hard for. At the end of the play we could say that Macbeth was "addicted" to the witches prediction as he thought that everything they told him was true and was to help him, the witches are of course evil characters and don't have his good at heart. This is a fault of Macbeth�s who doesn't realise it until it is too late. Istv�n Szentkereszty de Zagon (947 words) ...read more.

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