At times man is prone to call into states of disillusionment, whether it be their own fault, or that of others, and this may cause them to commit grievous errors. The character of Macbeth suffers from a delusional view of the world. The diluted ways in which he interprets many of the prophecies foretold by the witches brings forth a detrimental effect upon many of his peers and acquaintances and leads him to execute grave mistakes. It is Macbeth’s choice to interpret things in a more literal meaning, rather than a prophetic one, that becomes the downfall of many characters in the story. The meddlesome witches can not be left dry of blame, for it was their prophetic truths that led Macbeth to take such a literal stance on all of the forthcoming prophecies. “Men at times are masters of their own fates: the fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.” It is however Macbeth at fault for pushing the prophecies further than fate would take them.
At first encounter with the witches, Macbeth is foretold three prophecies. The witches call him Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king hereafter. Macbeth at first dismisses the prophecies as fantastical. Then thoughts of the greater power seep into Macbeth’s mind. The “fiends that lie like truth” (Shakespeare) encourage Macbeth’s malice thinking by foretelling the truth that Macbeth does indeed become Thane of Cawdor without any extra effort on his part. Banquo, although at first charmed by the witch’s prophecy for him, tends to eventually dismiss it as a trick by the witches. “To win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betrays in deepest consequence,” (Shakespeare)
Once Macbeth has been named Thane of Cawdor, and reality has set in, his mentality changes, in that he now sees no route to becoming king by remaining stationary, and continuing his current path in life. It is then with his delusional ambition that he proceeds to murder his king and his best friend, all for power. Although Macbeth ruthlessly commits the murders in his strive to be king, he is not without remorse. His vision has been clouded by power, but deep in his heart he knows what he did was wrong and subconsciously he suffers for it. “Macbeth hath murdered sleep” (Shakespeare, ). Macbeth suffers from lack of sleep because his good nature, although buried deep inside him, keeps him from shrugging off the murders as if they were but a trifle. His conscience shall forever let him feel the consequences of his treasonous and sacrilegious actions.
It is said “Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote can describe Macbeth very well. He becomes so corrupted that he starts disposing of every person he deems to have a chance to take him off the throne. The murders of lady Macduff, the children and the servants were done out of cold blood, showing Macbeth had gone into a power hungry state of disillusionment.