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How Do The Prophets In 'the Matrix' And 'macbeth' Use Their Foresight To Manipulate The Main Characters To Achieve Their Will?

1594 words - 6 pages

The three witches in 'Macbeth' and the Oracle in 'The Matrix' use their foresight to manipulate the main characters in a number of ways. They fulfil the first part of a prophecy to persuade the character to act on bringing the rest of the prophecy into being. In each media, there was at least one prophecy which is misinterpreted by the characters due to the wording given by the prophets. There was also an ignorance of previous prophecies by the main characters which was encouraged by the prophets. In both cases, the prophecies are reliant on other prophecies to be fulfilled, therefore cementing the idea that the characters were being 'played'. There is, however, a question of inevitability throughout all the prophecies. This idea is given by the Oracle to Neo, the 'saviour' figure of 'The Matrix' when he is told he was going to break a vase, so he turned to look for it and swept it off the bench,"What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?"After being told what he interpreted as meaning he was not ''the One'', the Oracle gave Neo a prophecy that Morpheus, the father figure of the group, would sacrifice his life for him, and he would have to make a choice,"In 'the One' hand you'll have Morpheus' life and in the other hand you'll have your own. One of you is going to die."Shortly after this he was presented with such a choice where he literally held the power of Morpheus' life in his hands. This is the first prophecy of the Oracle that Neo had seen fulfilled, he therefore had lost all scepticism. He then came to accept what the Oracle had said, leading him to take a step another crew member, Dozer, had labelled suicidal; going into a military controlled building in which Morpheus was being held and rescuing him at the expense of his own life. The Oracle used this prophecy to give Neo a feeling of guilt so he would choose to save Morpheus and the determination to actually do it.Similar to the Matrix, Macbeth is told by the witches that he would achieve the position of thane of Cawdor followed by his being "king hereafter!" Immediately after this he is awarded the former position. He asks himself,"If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir!"He is, however, persuaded by his wife's greed to kill the king after not being awarded the next-in-line position of prince of Cumberland. The witches obviously could tell that such events would follow the prophecy therefore were safe predicting this and predicting that a son of Macbeth's colleague, Banquo, would succeed Macbeth and give birth to a long line of kings. In 'The Matrix' Neo was given a choice requiring his 'stir'. Macbeth was not given a choice; he was given a little so he would therefore crave more.In both cases, there is an example of the characters misunderstanding the words of a prophet and because of this the prophecy has come into being. When Neo went to the Oracle, she put the words into his mouth that...

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