Everyone knows that evil can be devastating, especially to someone who foolishly embraces it. Most people would wonder why anyone would embrace evil. The answer is simple though; sometimes, evil does not appear as what it really is. Often, it actually appears enchanting, showing you the alluring side while hiding the darker side.
The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), is an ideal example of people falling victim to evil. In fact, the entire downfall of the main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, is due to them being lured to evil by three witches. The play is a perfect illustration of how evil can lure someone in then lead to their downfall.
In the play, Macbeth started out as an extremely brave and loyal solider. However, after the three witches told him he was to be king one day, he changed completely, being wholly consumed by his greed. He turned his back on his friends, betrayed them, and murdered innocent people. All of this can be linked back to the predictions made by the witches.
The witches first come to Macbeth after a battle and call him thane of Glamis (which he already is), thane of Cawdor, and King (Macbeth 1.3. 48-50). Shortly after this, while Macbeth is still trying to understand what they were talking about, he is informed that he is now thane of Cawdor, just as the witches said. This is the beginning of his downward spiral into evil.
The more Macbeth thinks about the witches calling him king, the more the idea interests him. Soon, all he can think about is becoming king. He is so tempted by their prophecy that he determines he must murder the king. Since the king is staying with him this is easily done. Lady Macbeth, eager to become queen, comes up with a plan to kill King Duncan while he stays at their house.
Macbeth, after only a brief period of reluctance, follows through with his wife’s plan, killing the king, and getting away with it. However, just because killing him was easy does not mean there were no repercussions. Of course, havoc is immediate following the death of the king. Macbeth, pretending to be upset by the death of his king, flies into a rage and also kills the guards, leading most to believe the guards were guilty of killing King Duncan. Although just a little while earlier Macbeth had been a brave soldier, defending his country, his greed led him to betray his king.
Although Macbeth is the one who actually committed the murders, Lady Macbeth is as much to blame as he is. In fact, at first, Macbeth did not even want to kill him. He even said, “I have no spur / to prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o'er leaps itself / and falls on the other” (Macbeth 1.7. 25-28). He meant that he had no reason to kill Duncan, other than his own ambitions. However, Lady Macbeth refuses to drop the idea. She came up with a plan for the murder, saying
“We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep—