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How did the 'evil' in witches and Lady Macbeth affect Macbeth?

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How did the 'evil' in witches and Lady Macbeth affect Macbeth? 'Macbeth' was written by William Shakespeare in 1606 when a large majority of people were interested in witches and witchcraft. So that is why Shakespeare has made the witches and witches' prophecies plat an essential role in the storyline of the play, 'Macbeth.' At that time witches were not thought to be supernatural beings, but supposedly gained their powers by selling their souls to the Satan, and were then instructed and controlled by "familiar spirits." The English law recognises the practice of witchcraft among some people in 1604 and made a rule so that any one who practice witchcraft, help those who practice witchcraft or do any thing seriously unusual from the others can be penalised to death. But it was by no means unquestioned. There can be no doubt that most of the Shakespeare's audience would have believed in witches, and for the intention of the play, at least, Shakespeare also accepted their views. ...read more.


Just after hearing this, Macbeth and Banquo, his noble friend and a general in the King's army receive a message from Ross that Macbeth has been awarded the title of "Thane of Cawdor" from the king for his bravery in repelling the rebellion. Then Macbeth is conveyed to think about the ideas of "the greatest." The witches had also told them that Banquo would be the father to a line of kings. So they contemplate about how the rest of the prophecy will come true. Banquo says in the 124th line (third scene in the first act), "The instruments of darkness tells us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray 's In deepest consequence." In his mind and in his speech witches are portrayed as bad. He calls them instruments of darkness and the devil. He might believe that the witches' prophecies are aimed at inflicting harm even before anything begins to happen. He sees beyond the witches and can see that their original intention is bad whereas Macbeth is taken in by the witches and this "blindness" is what causes his downward spiral of problems. ...read more.


Although desperately wanting the prophecies to become true, she approaches Macbeth who lacks the intensity of feeling as his wife does, to commit regicide. Before speaking with Lady Macbeth, Macbeth never wanted to kill Duncan. But Lady Macbeth can manipulate her husband easily. This is shown in the line "that I may pour my spirit in thine ear" (fifth scene of first act). She handles Macbeth's self-esteem by challenging on his bravery and manliness. Macbeth, like a child who is easily guided agrees to murder the king Duncan. Lady Macbeth knows this and acts accordingly. Lady Macbeth is the dominating partner in the relationship between herself and her husband and this is shown in the soliloquy in the fifth scene of the first act. Although he can make the final decision in whether or not to kill king Duncan, he loves Lady Macbeth and wants to fulfil her wishes. It is clear that she can convince him on to do anything as long as she pushes the right button in. for example she questions Macbeth as, "Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act, and valour, As thou art in desire?" This is clearly a teasing comment on his manliness. ...read more.

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