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The Witches and Macbeth

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We first hear of Macbeth from the three witches in the first scene of the play, when the 'weird women' name him and make known that they await him. This adds mystery to the play because how would a loyal & courageous warrior be associated with the forces of evil. Furthermore Shakespeare wrote the play when everybody was afraid of anything associated with witches and witchcraft. Macbeth`s heroism is demonstrated by Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbein, Lennox & the Captain, in Act 1 Scene 2 on lines 16 & 24, as the Captain says "Oh Brave Macbeth" after which King Duncan says "Oh valiant cousin, worthy Gentleman!" This portrays Macbeth to be a hero, as words like 'brave' or 'valiant' do not appertain to a Villain, it is ironic that Macbeth will kill the King out of his own ambition to succeed him. When the three witches finally meet Macbeth, the weird women prophesise that Macbeth will become the Thane of Cawdor and later King of Scotland. They have a dastardly plan, only feeding good news to Macbeth, when their true motives are for Macbeth to suffer. ...read more.


'I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me - I would while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed his brains out, had I sworn as you, Have done to this.' (Lady M would even kill her own baby, if she had sworn to). At this time Lady M is certainly influenced by evil forces, as she is normally loving and wouldn't harm her own baby, but, this all changes when she called out to 'evil' presences to 'unsex' her just after she reads Macbeth`s letter near the beginning of the play. The few minutes before Macbeth kills Duncan, he hallucinates a dagger in front of him, this shows Macbeth is very nervous and is aware of what he is about to do is sinful. Macbeth`s evil manifests itself when he cunningly, cold-bloodingly, kills the King. However he feels ashamed of what he has just done, he knows he has compromised his soul by carrying out this immoral act. Macbeth villainy is demonstrated in the next scene, he is filled with hunger to spill innocent blood. ...read more.


When Macbeth is told Birnam wood appears to be moving towards the castle - he makes a foolish decision to leave it's safety. He puts on his armour, determined to die as a soldier (his good qualities are re-emerging) 'At least we'll die with a harness on our back'. However he still believes that he can't die as the weird women told him a man, who was born from a woman naturally, couldn't kill him. 'No man of woman can kill him'. When Macbeth confronts Macduff, there is a suggestion that Macbeth feels guilty 'my soul is too charg'd I With blood already'. When Macduff says he was born by caesarean, Macbeth realises that the witches (these juggling friends) have cheated him. He knows he is going to perish. Macbeth`s tragedy is that he never knew when to stop. In conclusion, I feel Macbeth was a good, honest and moralistic person, who grew up to be a brave, well-respected warrior. However, his stature was tarnished by his acquaintances and exposure to superstition from witches. He was further subjected to emotional and psychological blackmail from his relationship with his wife. Eventually his obsession to become King, coupled with these evil forces, drove him to commit murder and treason, turning him into a tyrant. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Grove ...read more.

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