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Would Macbeth have committed the crimes he did without the influence of Lady Macbeth?

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Would Macbeth have committed the crimes he did without the influence of Lady Macbeth? Undoubtedly Lady Macbeth is one of the driving forces behind Macbeth's royal ambition. However, she is not the only influence on Macbeth, his own 'black and deep desires' must also be considered, as must the supernatural workings of the witches. Macbeth is one of Shakespears tragic heroes. A brave, noble loyal soldier who is in favour with the king but because of a weakness in character falls from grace. Macbeth's weakness is that he allows his ambition to suppress his good qualities causing the deteriation in his character we see from the moment of the witches' prophecies. Macbeth's first reaction to the witches' prophecies is fear, this is strange, as we know him to be a brave man, his fear may be due to the witches touching on his own secret longings. After becoming Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth says aside 'Two truths are told as happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme.' Although this isn't proof of Macbeth's murderous intentions it does show that his thoughts are already turned to the Sovereignty before Lady Macbeth enters the play, possibly even before the witches' prophecies. ...read more.


Though any concerns Lady Macbeth has about Macbeth not wanting to challenge god are misplaced as he also calls on the evil sprits to hide his 'black and deep desires'. Lady Macbeth is a practical woman, and in the beginning of the play, she acts as a confidant and advisor to Macbeth, planning the murder and spurring him on when his own 'vaulting ambition' starts to falter. Macbeth's desires are tame when compared with Lady Macbeth's unquenchable aspiration for her husband to ascend the throne. She lacks the morals that cause Macbeth to have doubts. Though he initially agrees to the plan when left to his own devices without the influence of Lady Macbeth or the supernatural he decides not to go through with the murder. It is only Lady Macbeth's goading and ridiculing of his manhood 'When you durst do it, then you were a man' that pushes him to go through with it. This is important, it strongly implies that without pressure from Lady Macbeth the murder of Duncan would not have taken place. So why when Lady Macbeth says she cannot commit the murder as Duncan reminded her too much of her father does Macbeth instantly take over? ...read more.


The witches' prophecies allow Macbeth to realise his deep desires and Lady Macbeth's naked ambition drove him towards the first murder, binding him to the crime with her taunting words. Without both of these factors the evil in Macbeth that caused him to commit his other crimes would not have been awakened and this is truly what Macbeth is about. Shakespeare is commenting on the religious philosophy present at the time, that all humans are innately evil and only need to be provided with the access to it. He is suggesting that it is possible that evil qualities are something that can be taken on during life if the person is subjected to evil influences. In Macbeth's case, these influences were Lady Macbeth and the witches. The witches symbolize all that is disorder, chaos, and evil in the universe and in the time the play was written when fears of witches and the supernatural were experiencing a rebirth the audience would have had no trouble believing in the wicked powers of the witches and their ability to manipulate Macbeth. The audience is left with the question would Macbeth have become king if he had not heard the witches prophecies and fate had been allowed to run its course and this, was Shakespeare's intention. Would Macbeth have committed the crimes he did without the influence of Lady Macbeth? By Beth Martin 11G Beth Martin 11G English ...read more.

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