• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Is Macbeth responsible for his actions or is he manipulated by outside forces?'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Is Macbeth responsible for his actions or is he manipulated by outside forces?' The supernatural world has always existed in one way or another. It has mostly existed in people's minds. It has also played a part on the way people act, mainly because these people became so involved in it, that they forgot the difference between what is right and what is wrong. It has always been thought as evil and sinister, which would make people act in strange ways. These strange ways has made the mind think the person affected by magic was also sinister, thus they were either put to death or experimented upon. In 'Macbeth', Macbeth seems to be affected by sinister magic and he acts in very strange ways, but Shakespeare left it up to the audience to decide whether he had been manipulated by supernatural forces or whether he was responsible for his actions. In my opinion, Macbeth is responsible for his actions. 'Macbeth' starts off with the witches. Shakespeare has put them at the beginning, because he wants the audience to think that everything that happens thereon is the witches fault. This may have been due to the fact that there was a great hatred of witches during the Elizabethan era. Anyone who looked or acted strangely was supposed to be possessed. 'Macbeth' was also written in favour of King James I (who was King of England and Scotland at the time), to flatter him, because of his book, 'Demonologie'. This book was about witches and their supposed powers. Shakespeare wanted to flatter James I by portraying the witches in an evil way. He wanted to flatter James I, because Shakespeare wanted him to be the patron of his company, so that he could earn more money from making the King the patron of his company. Shakespeare wants the witches to look bad, so he starts 'Macbeth' with the witches planning on turning the world upside down, 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair.' ...read more.

Middle

Banquo is meant to be a reflection of King James I, because of the several, subtle references to his background, such as the setting of Macbeth in Scotland; the descent of kings from Banquo. Shakespeare has also tried to catch King James I's interest by the heavy effect of the witches and witchcraft in the play. These witches, that Shakespeare has used to catch the interest of James I, aren't responsible for Macbeth's actions, because they haven't done anything. They didn't even indicate that Macbeth should kill King Duncan. There's no evidence, no hint of the witches discussing murder with Macbeth. There's no proof that Macbeth isn't completely responsible for his actions. Macbeth has been portrayed as a tragic hero in the play, because it's about the fall of a good man. At the beginning, Macbeth is described as, 'brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name)' and also 'noble Macbeth'. This means that Macbeth is a very brave, courageous and strong soldier. He is also the King's cousin. His character, the wicked and evil side, doesn't emerge until the witches foresee his future. When Macbeth is given the title of the Thane of Cawdor, then his mind really begins to think. He has already dreamt about being King, but Macbeth pushed that thought back. When the witches prophesised his future, then he immediately began to think, 'Present fears, Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,' This scene (Act 1, Scene 3) is the crucial turning point in which Macbeth's personality emerges. The moment he is named 'Thane of Cawdor', he instantly thinks of the witches' prophecy of being King. But the quote above shows that Macbeth has already thought that he can't be king without killing someone. But then he thinks a bit more, 'If Chance will have me king, why, Chance may crown me, Without my stir.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that the animals are aware that the disruption of the natural world has begun. Macbeth goes slightly insane, but his actions are not due to his insanity. they're due to the fact that he thought about murder and his wife supported him, but he did the deed with his own hands, not his wife's hands, but his. Macbeth is secretly thrilled when Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, find out about the death of their father because they both immediately run to the safety of Ireland and England. they think that their lives are in danger, so that leaves Macbeth as King. This means that he got what he wanted, and he is completely responsible for it all. He eventually gets his just desserts from Macduff, who kills him. Macbeth really is responsible for his actions. He is completely guilty of regicide (murder of a king), and he is completely responsible for killing Macduff's children and wife and his close friend, Banquo. Shakespeare did this to show the audience that the moral of the story is that the mighty eventually do fall. He also wants to warn them that having too much ambition is not a good thing. In fact, this isn't the only moral to the story. Maybe Shakespeare was trying to warn the audience not associate with witches. Obviously, there was a great hatred of witches in the Elizabethan era, so they were not to be associated with. Another moral is that this is the fall of a great man who gave in to his temptations. It's similar to the fall of mankind, in the Bible, when Adam and Eve couldn't resist their temptations and took a bit out of the apple. There is also the fact that Macbeth was murdered, so as the saying goes, 'What goes around comes around.' This is exactly what happened to Macbeth; he was murdered, just like he murdered the King. So as all the evidence shows, Macbeth is completely responsible for his actions. He wasn't manipulated by any outside forces. Bushra Wasty 11E English Coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Shakespeare's use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

    This can also be said about the spectator's response. He starts as a brave soldier, he finishes dead. He turned into a psychologically ailing coward, who cannot slay and relies on supernatural powers. The supernatural betrays him in the end, which can be particularly said about Act 4 scene 1.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    of Duncan's death an attempt to cover up his tracks through immense dread of being caught. 'O yet I do repent of my fury, that I did kill them'. By (II, vi) the balance has shifted from 'worthy gentleman' Macbeth to 'the good Macduff'.

  1. English Macbeth coursework-Is the supernatural wholly responsible for the tragedy that occurs or is ...

    they change their tone and act subservient towards him, "speak, demand, we'll answer" We are also more prone to condemning them more as we learn the grotesque content of their cauldron, "pour in sow's blood that hath eaten her nine farrow" These ingredients sound equally gruesome to Macbeth, yet this

  2. What is the Significance of the Witches in Macbeth?

    In Scene 3 of Act 1 we are introduced to the witches again. Shakespeare makes the witches fit into the traditional stereotype using pathetic fallacy with thunder. We also have rhythm and rhyme being used to create quick speeches with all the watches 'synchronised' together to cause a speech that sounds like a spell.

  1. Lady Macbeth - Is Lady Macbeth Responsible for the evils of Macbeth?

    Come to my woman's breasts, and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, wherever in your sightless substances you wait on natures mischief!" The effect of these lines is less effective nowadays as belief in the supernatural is small, unlike when Shakespeare was writing this when more people believed in devil worshipping etc.

  2. Who is mainly responsible for the evil in Macbeth?

    the king he's served for years "I am his kinsman and his subject....Not bear the knife myself", he then goes over Duncan's virtues as a king and what kind of man he'd be to kill such a good man as Duncan, let alone a king when he says "Duncan Hath

  1. Who or what is responsible for the downfall of Macbeth and how does Shakespeare ...

    He now believes that everything else the witches have prophesised will come true. Shakespeare then expands on the fact that Macbeth is shocked by what Ross has confirmed by the use of a metaphor; "why do you dress me / In borrowed robes?"

  2. How far is Macbeth responsible for his actions through out the play?

    The witches did have a physiological impact on Macbeth, leaving him confused and uneasy at the prophecy of the witches telling him he shall become king. The prediction to Macbeth, most probably a guilty ambition, once prophesied to Macbeth would leave Macbeth desperate for his time to come, as time

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work