The Witches In Macbeth, The Source Of A Terrible Tragedy

1799 words - 7 pages

In reading Shakespeare’s well-known play, Macbeth, one will always notice the many influences that Macbeth encounters before his downfall. Each one of these may have had some bit of impact on the final outcome. The three most controversial and popular causes of the tragedy of Macbeth are the main character’s ambition, the witches’ fateful prophecies, and Lady Macbeth’s dominance. Each one of these can be argued as the main source of influence on Macbeth for muderdering so many people. Some people would argue that the main source causing this tragedy was his wife, Lady Macbeth. However, this would not support all of the events that took place in Macbeth. Other people might argue that Macbeth’s own, personal ambition is what led to the bloody death of so many people, but in this case, it is obvious that there was some other force behind him that helped him to change from a respectable, trustworthy man, to a deceiving murderer. In his encounters with the witches, Mabeth was introduced to that fact that he could have more power, and in hearing what he had to do to earn it, he was scared. However, with the witches making this power sound so grand, he was eventually convinced that his dignity was no longer essential. The witches, therefore, were what caused the legacy of Macbeth as a heroic individual to lead to his ultimate death and destruction.

In the play, there are many interesting sections that concentrate on the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. With the sense of the supernatural and interference of the spirits, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led to dangerous, tempting things. The three witches are introduced right at the beginning of the play, on Macbeth’s way home from fighting in the battle for his country. They recount to Macbeth three prophecies. The first is that he will become the Thane of Cawdor, the second is the Thane of Glamis, which he already was titled as, and the third was stated by the witches as: “he shalt be King hereafter”. These prophecies, two of them being very new to him, introduced Macbeth to new ideas of greatness. And, in knowing that in this time period, it was sometimes thought that the witches had the ability to reverse the natural order of things, Macbeth knew that he should be suspicious of the words of the Wëird Sisters. This scene brings into the play the idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. One can ponder on whether Macbeth ever had a chance of doing what was right after he met with the witches, because of how strong their words were, and because of how many great things they were promising to him. After the prophecies were given to him, Macbeth had a very strong reaction to what was stated:

(Act 1. sc. 3 ln.147-155)
“…If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my...

Find Another Essay On The Witches In Macbeth, The Source Of A Terrible Tragedy

The Terrible Tragedy of Bosnia-Herzegovina Essay

660 words - 3 pages Imagine you and your loved ones were taken away to some unknown camp and separated into groups based on your gender. Imagine the dreadful screams coming from children and their parents refusing to part from their families. Genocides around the world may have happened for no particular reason, but still have a significant impact in our past. The genocide of Bosnia is an immense example of extermination against a specific group of people due to

The Terrible Consequences of Regicide in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

983 words - 4 pages ). King James’ obsessive interests played major roles in Shakespeare’s creation of plays, especially Macbeth. King James’ life loves, ancestry, and fears were the structure for Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. The more obvious references to King James I in Macbeth are the witches and Banquo. “James always defended the idea that he ruled by divine right. Moreover, he was a Scot and claimed to be a direct descendant of Banquo…”( Sime 299). Banquo’s

The Importance of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1677 words - 7 pages There is no doubt that the witches predictions and apparitions in the tragedy by William Shakespeare, "Macbeth" does not just play a significant role - in fact, at first glance, witches determine the development of the plot. There are three apparitions that the witches use trick Macbeth and drive the plot. However, the meaning of the prophecies in the tragedy is much more serious than it appears at a superficial glance with the work of the

The Partial Responsibility of the Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4576 words - 18 pages floor in Act 4, Scene 1, which is another type of special effect that is used only on the witches. Another trait that belongs solely to the witches is that they constantly speak in rhyming couplets. This trait shows that they are evil, and just before Macbeth is killed he too speaks in rhyme. "But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, brandished by man that's of a woman born" Shakespeare does this to

The Importance of the Three Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2218 words - 9 pages it gave to the play. I will also discuss what the witches look like and their illusion on the stage and why James I was so scared of them. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth as a historical tragedy. Macbeth was a real king in Scotland for about 17 years but later he died because Malcolm (the son of Duncan) killed him after a battle. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth for king James I who ruled Scotland and England. James I was born

The Power of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1504 words - 6 pages The Power of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth   The tragedy of Macbeth comes about because of a single event in his life. If that one moment, the meeting with the witches on the heath, had not happened then Macbeth would no doubt have gone on to be a loyal and respected subject of King Duncan and, later, King Malcolm. However, the meeting did happen and the powerful force of ambition was unleashed within Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

The Role of the Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1776 words - 7 pages The Role of the Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare some time between 1603 and 1606 and is set in Scotland around 1040. The time it was written coincides with the reign of King James the First of England. King James showed a great interest in witches and powers of the supernatural and Macbeth was arguably written to impress the king in what were violent times

The Reasoning for Shakespeare's Inclusion of the Witches in 'Macbeth'

1010 words - 4 pages The witches are vital elements in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', not just to make it successful in Jacobean times, but also to add depth and atmosphere to the play. They are the root of disorder and are the trigger factor for the chaos that unfolds throughout the play. Shakespeare considered their role very carefully and included them for important reasons.In 1604, a year after he came to the English throne, James passed many laws on witchcraft

The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1784 words - 7 pages The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Witchcraft in the 17th centaury was frowned upon by the church as a result witches were feared and loathed in the community. Many people thought that they were directly connected to Lucifer (the devil). Their evidence of this was that the devils familiars came up from hell and drank the witches blood from devil spots (moles or birthmarks), in return for

Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - Purpose of the Witches

967 words - 4 pages a complete understanding of why the witches are in Macbeth.   Works Cited and Consulted:   Cathell, A.L. "The Diabolic Witches in Macbeth" in Shakespeare Survey: Volume 5. Edited by Allardyce Nicoll Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996   Elliot, G.R. "Introduction: On `Macbeth' as Apex of Shakspearean Tragedy" in Shakespearean Criticism, Volume 3. Edited by Laurie Harris (Gale: 1984)   McElroy, Bernard

The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1548 words - 6 pages The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare has made the witches and their prophecies play a major part in the storyline and overall feeling of the play Macbeth. When he was returning from Denmark after his marriage, James first came in contact with witchcraft. A coven of witches in North Berwickshire had tried to practice the black arts against him. Being unable to obtain any of his clothes, they

Similar Essays

The Witches Of Macbeth Essay

754 words - 3 pages Many scholars over the years have analysed these characters, and looked for the deeper symbolism in Shakespeare's Macbeth and it's characters and themes. Appearance versus reality is one of the biggest themes in Macbeth, and it is greatly authenticated by Lady Macbeth and the three witches. These characters take on many faces throughout the play to be able to sympathize themselves better with the other characters, so much in fact, that the

The Role Of The Witches In Macbeth

1622 words - 6 pages The Role of the Witches in Macbeth In the play, Shakespeare used the witches to represent the supernatural, evil, a destructive force and an inversion of natural order. At the time the play was written, people believed this, and feared witches. People believed that witches had the power to change the weather and other special powers such as predicting the

The Roll Of The Witches In "Macbeth"

730 words - 3 pages William Shakespeare builds a mystifying and ominous atmosphere in the opening scene of Macbeth, by integrating the three Weird Sisters to imply the evil that continuously lurks throughout the play. The witches are used as prophetic equivocations, made to entice human desire and manipulate human weakness in order to commence Macbeth's downfall.The witches assume a prophetic role within the play. They give the audience hints as to the events that

The Three Witches In Macbeth Essay

1061 words - 4 pages to have a succession of kings after him. Macbeth's ambition is deep within him and because of this, both the witches and Lady Macbeth are able to convince him to evil. It is this ambition that gets him into so much trouble initially. Everyone is responsible for their own destiny. This is an essential theme in this tragedy. Macbeth chooses to gamble with his soul and when he does this it is only him who chooses to lose it. He is responsible