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Macbeth Probably composed in late 1606 or early 1607, Macbeth is the last of Shakespeare's four great tragedies. It is a relatively short play without a major subplot, and it is considered by many scholars to be Shakespeare's darkest work. Shakespeare's Scottish tragedy is about Macbeth's bloody rise to power, including the murder of the Scottish king, Duncan and includes many other evil deeds generated from here. Mainly the issues of power, ambition and superstition are involved throughout the play. It is established from the very beginning that Macbeth is ambitious. There can be no doubt about this. A certain level of courage accompanies his ambition as well. As a noble he is an active one, fighting against the rebel hordes and Norwegians in defence of his king, no doubt for the purpose of gaining notoriety and other rewards. The people with greatest impact on Macbeth are the witches, his wife and Lady, and King Duncan of Scotland. The witches introduce the idea, King Duncan gives personal motive, and Lady Macbeth helps him along the way. The least influential party in all of this is King Duncan. ...read more.


Duncan is basically announcing that Macbeth is inferior to his son and so this provokes Macbeth to hate Duncan and points out what must be done in order for him to become king. The other side of Duncan's murder is due to the contribution of Lady Macbeth, who begins plotting as soon as she finds out Duncan is coming to stay. Macbeth truly found his soul mate in this sense. Towards the end of Act 1, Scene 3, he thinks that perhaps he doesn't need to do anything to become the king, "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.'' Lady Macbeth, on receiving the letter telling her about the witches' prophecies, she immediately thinks that she and Macbeth will have to kill king Duncan. Although Lady Macbeth feels Macbeth is not man enough to commit the murder of Duncan. She then also taunts him. 'Yet I do fear thy nature, it is too full o'th milk of human kindness. To catch the nearest way thou wouldst be great. ...read more.


In act one scene one the three witches say together, 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair.' I think that the prophecy set forth by the witches could be the single cause for the entire story of Macbeth. Without the witches, Macbeth may never have thought of taking Duncan's life at all. Without the prophecy, even Lady Macbeth probably would not have thought of doing such a thing. It is not that the desire for Macbeth to become king would not have existed if the witches had not talked to Macbeth. The desire existed in both Macbeth and his wife naturally in their position as nobles. The significance of the prophecy is that it brought this desire to the foreground and made it reality. Without the witches' suggestion of the course of action to be taken by Macbeth, I don't think that he would have be so bold as of to pursue his ambition. The witches' prophecy is self-fulfilling. And so this leads me to believe that every person relies on the influences of those around him or her in order to form conceptions and decisions. Michelle McCartan S2D ...read more.

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