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The Witches In Macbeth: Unlocking The Doors To Regicide

841 words - 3 pages

The witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth serve to drive the story, advance tension, reveal weakness, and give the audience a hint of the things to come but they do not control Macbeth or anyone else in the play. The only power they have is the ability to reinforce ideas that have already been set in Macbeth’s head. Macbeth is the master of his own fate and he controls his own life. Many temptations are laid out before Macbeth. The way in which he deals with these temptations depends on his own moral strength.
The witches’ role is made clear when Hecate speaks to them in (Act 3 Scene 5) as she suggests that they don’t have the power to make him evil, nor do they need that power. This scene is employed to reinforce the profound question: “Is Macbeth to blame for his downfall?” Hecate’s opinion is that he is. She tells the sisters that Macbeth "loves for his own ends" and claims that Macbeth "shall spurn Fate," reusing the words "disdaining Fortune" from Act I. She goes on about how Macbeth is fully capable of evil on his own. Without the witches Macbeth would have still reached his goal in becoming King, whether it is by regicide or by other means. The witches may have very well changed the way Macbeth went about achieving his goals, but he was definitely focused on his ambitions well before the battle had even began. All the witches did was speed up the process. In no means did the sisters force evil upon Macbeth. He was given confidence in achieving his goals.

Macbeth is never commanded to kill. All three assassinations were his rulings. Decisions made to reach his “ultimate goal”. A murder soon leads to another and Macbeth becomes trapped in a paranoid mess. The only way for him to deal with this mess is to kill again. He turns to the witches who ultimately aid in reassuring him and restoring his confidence. The witches do in no way however force him to commit regicide. In fact, Macbeth’s wife encouraged the majority of his actions and she played a considerable part of being an accessory to murder by encouraging Macbeth to kill. No spells are casted against him. In no way is he compelled, threatened, terrorised or pressured by these sisters. Macbeth never felt pressured to commit any murder or regicide. He was led to kill by his ambitions, driven by his...

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