Macbeth Essay How Are The Witches, Macbeth And Lady Macbeth Held Responsible For The Tragic Events In The Play? Macbeth Written By William Shakespeare

1366 words - 5 pages

The tragedy Macbeth written by Shakespeare shows a man fall from the greatest pedestal, kingship. It is one of the greatest tragedies because it demonstrates how a once loyal and courageous man can diminish into an immoral 'butcher'. Macbeth receives a prophecy from three witches' stating that he would become King. This prophecy enkindled Macbeth's 'vaulting ambition' and after the prompting of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth commits regicide. Killing the King is the beginning of Macbeth's tragic fall. After Macbeth rises to kingship he begins to behave like a tyrant because he becomes obsessed with his elevated position. He becomes paranoid about Banquo's prophecy so he kills Banquo and tries to kill his son. He commits evil after evil, killing anyone who threatens his reign. Macbeth's monstrous behaviour ends with his death and the restoration of Duncan's royal line. In Macbeth there are many tragic events that are caused because of the involvement of the witches, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. These tragic events led to the demise of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

The witches are the first to appear in Macbeth and this signifies their importance in the tragic events of the play. Their first appearance straight away categorises the witches as evil as their riddles show that they want to stir up trouble. 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' (act1, scene1). The witches add an element of supernatural and prophecy to the play. Without the witches the prophecy which was the beginning of the tragic events would not have occurred. The evil portrayal of the weird witches in Macbeth was because of King James's views and interests in witches and the supernatural. James believed that witches were evil and there purpose was to kill the King. This certainly had an influence in Macbeth as the witches are partly responsible for the regicide of Duncan. The witches used Macbeth's tragic flaw to create something of their own doing. They prophecised that Macbeth would become King and this sparked up his ambition which inevitably led him to committing regicide. They identified that his weakness was ambition and they exploited that weakness so they could use him as a tool of evil. The witches are central to the theme of equivocation because they deliberately use words in one sense but mean another thing to confuse Macbeth. The witches deliberately try to mislead Macbeth into taking the crown by saying 'none of women born shall harm Macbeth'(act4, scene1). Macbeth takes this to mean that no one will have power over him because no man can be born and not be born of women but he later finds out that his killer Macduff was not born naturally, 'Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd'(act5, scene8)...

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