By careful study of the play decide, in committing Duncan's murder how far Macbeth is driven by his own ambition; how far he is dominated by his wife's; and how far is influenced by the witches.

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                                        Shakespeare Essay

By careful study of the play decide, in committing Duncan’s murder how far Macbeth is driven by his own ambition; how far he is dominated by his wife’s; and how far is influenced by the witches.

In this Essay I will consider who influenced Macbeth. Do the witches put a spell on Macbeth to make him kill Duncan? Or when Lady Macbeth invites the spirits of evil to enter her, does this turn her soul into pure evil or do the witches take over her body?

Shakespeare’s ‘Tragedy of Macbeth’ is based on factual evidence. In Scotland in the 11th Century there was a man who reined called Macbeth from 1040-57. But those days where violent and troubled times and Lords and Thanes fought between each other. Claim to the thrown was a secure establishment compared to today. Even though William Shakespeare based his play on historical factual evidence, it could be just a coincident that a man called Macbeth is based on the real King Macbeth who lived in the 11th Century but Shakespeare might of wanted a Scottish name and liked the name of Macbeth. But that does not make the play really special, it is the fact that it is a tragic love story rolled into a horror in one. The real Macbeth is described as a gentle and loving king. He had blond hair and blue eyes. People called him the Greatest Celtic King as for the 16 years he was king there was peace and the land was fertile. It was only after he was killed by King Malcolm (King Duncan’s grandson) that all the nasty rumors started about him. Shakespeare also used the rumors of Macbeth to scare King James 1. Because all the rumors about Macbeth had turn into evil and the King James 1 thought that witches were after him, Shakespeare used the legends of Macbeth and the witches to show how ridiculous it is.

Shakespeare sets off the tone of the play with the witches. This is to grab the audience straight away by setting it in the shadowy heaths of the highland, but making sure that we do not know what is going to happen! The whole scene is creepy and unsettling. He uses thunder and lightning. Atmosphere is dark and foreboding and plays on our fascination with the supernatural word, when they meet Macbeth.  The witches are supposed to be strong women who were kicked out of everyday society and that is what makes them scary. They are supposed to be powerful and threatening to everyone who meets them. When the witches are introduced they speak in riddles but there is a similarity between the witches and everyday speaking today e.g. today young children say that ‘Yes means no and no means Yes’ and to the witches ‘foul is fair and fair is foul’. No doubt that there is going to be a struggle between good and evil forces, Light and Darkness

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The witches are threatening and have a disturbing atmosphere ‘Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair, How through the fog and filthy air’. Act 1 scene 1, lines 11-12.At the end of the scene they leave us in despair to know what is going to happen. ‘So foul and fair a day I have not seen.’ Act3 scene 3 lines 37, When we first meet Macbeth these are his first words, these echo the witches words and it also indicates that he is in control of his own destiny.

The witches just happen to choose the right ...

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