Who is mostly to blame for the events in Macbeth?

Authors Avatar by birde (student)

Good morning,  

I am here today to discuss who is to blame for the tragic events that occurred in William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. Could it have been The Witches, whose prophecies instigated the horrendous unfold of events, or Lady Macbeth, because it was her that sealed Duncan’s fate, and her guilt that led to suicide. Or perhaps it was Macbeth himself. His greed, belief in the prophecies and corruption of power could have led to the murder of King Duncan, Banquo and Macduff’s family.

At the beginning of the play, Scotland is at battle with Norway. Fresh from battle, Macbeth has his first encounter with the Three Witches and is accompanied by Banquo. Three initial predictions are made. The first witch says, ‘All hail, Macbeth…Thane of Glamis,’ the second witch goes on to say ‘Thane of Cawdor, and the third witch says Macbeth ‘shalt be king hereafter.’ The prophecies have a lot of influence on Macbeth. The witches portray intelligence by approaching Macbeth at the correct moment in time, when he is full of triumph and fresh from the fighting and killing. Macbeth demonstrates his deep beliefs in the supernatural and fate when he says, ‘If chance may have me king, why, chance may crown me’ Shakespeare shows Macbeth having murderous thoughts in his mind that are prompted by the prophecy as he asks Banquo why he ‘yield to that suggestion’ and His ‘thoughts, whose murder is fantastical shakes so single state of man.’ The Witches are speaking Macbeth’s innermost thoughts. The Witches predictions have already thrilled Macbeth, but when he becomes Thane of Cawdor, he believes he has proof that they can read the future and so begins to believe them. The next time Macbeth and the Three Witches meet, two more prophesies are given, both which please Macbeth. ‘No man born a woman can harm Macbeth’’ and he has nothing to fear until ‘Birnam Wood comes to Dusinan Castle.’ You would never suspect that these things would occur, the witches are playing with Macbeth, and leading him to believe he is invincible.

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        Witches and other superstitions were widely believed in Shakespeare’s time, so it is easy to see why Macbeth was fooled into believing them.

        In Act 2, Scene 3, the morning after the murder, guilt and regret clearly play upon his mind when he says, ‘Had I died but an hour before this chance, I would have lived a blessed time.’ However, these feelings gradually manifest into negative thoughts. Banquo was with Macbeth when the predictions were made, and is suspicious because the prophecies have become true so quickly and he knew some of Macbeth's murderous thoughts. Macbeth then decided ...

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