Equivocation Plays A Significant Role In Macbeth’s Destruction

1475 words - 6 pages

(Witches have been seen in many stories to bring a supernatural element to the plot. Witches have been known to weave the fabric of human life and then cut the threads to end them. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare has used the witches to toy with Macbeth’s life with the use of prophecies. ) (The equivocation of the prophecies that was told to Macbeth was a significant role to Macbeth’s destruction.) (Three ways the witches’ tricked Macbeth was showing him an armed head telling him to fear Macduff, a bloody child stating that none born of a woman shall hurt Macbeth, and a crowned child with a tree in its hand saying he will not be defeated until Birnam wood comes to his castle on Dunsinane ...view middle of the document...

This prophecy relates to the other which advises Macbeth to "Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn / The power of man, for none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth" (Shakespeare 4.1.81). Macbeth is advised to fear Macduff as he knew already expected because he was not present at his coronation but he did not know he was connected to the other prophecy. This prophecy comes true when Macbeth and Macduff face off. Macduff becomes a threat when he was not of woman born and Macbeth is slain by him. These two prophecies have left Macbeth feeling ignorant and immortal as he thought no man could hurt him. This is evident when Macbeth rushes onto the battlefield alone and does not yield when surrounded. ) (The equivocation and his faith in the prophecy have blinded him of the double meaning. Acting brashly, he rushes to his own demise. These, with the other two prophecies, have built up to Macbeth’s downfall.)
(The second apparition requested by Macbeth that ultimately leads up to his downfall was spoken by a “bloody child” (Shakespeare 4.1.67). It advises Macbeth to “Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn / The power of man, for none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth” (Shakespeare 4.1.81). It is clear that Macbeth feels immortal because no one could possibly hurt him if the prophecy is true but this would ironically lead to his demise.)(Having heard of this, Macbeth is led to gain a false confidence because it seems to say that Macbeth is immortal; much like a god. The first and second apparitions synergize to fool Macbeth. Since the second apparition says no man of woman born could hurt Macbeth, Macbeth thinks Macduff isn’t a threat because he thinks everyone is of woman born, so he doesn’t have to fear him as said in the first apparition. When confronted by young Siward, he talks with arrogance as saying “Thou'lt be afraid to hear it” when asked for his name (Shakespeare 5.7.3). The fatal mistake Macbeth has made was not realizing the true meaning of the prophecy. The true meaning of it is that no one will be able to kill Macbeth except for Macduff, since he was ripped out of his mother’s womb from a caesarean section. The bloody baby in the prophecy could possibly be Macduff as he was pulled out of his mother’s womb. Since Macbeth does not possess any knowledge of this, he feels confident of the outcome of the upcoming battle and does not set up any precautions or feel the need to surrender when surrounded and outnumbered. When facing off Macduff in battle, he learns that “Macduff was from his mother's womb / Untimely ripp'd” (Shakespeare 5.8.15-16). After realizing this, Macbeth’s confidence is crushed and he is beheaded by him. He shockingly says
Accursed be that tongue that tells me so, For it hath cow'd my better part of man! And be these juggling fiends no more believed, That palter with us in a double sense; That keep the word of promise to our ear, And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee (Shakespeare 5.8.17-22).
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