Predictions In Shakespeare's Macbeth?

1255 Words 6 Pages
Who’s to blame?

The supernatural soliciting of the witches’ is partially, but not fully, to blame for the events in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. While the witches suggest ideas to Macbeth, the events that determine the course of the play are the fault of his actions which are caused by his desires, influences and ignorance. Macbeth perceives the witches’ predictions as a dependable source of information on which to make decisions. This perception combined with his desirous and persuadable character is the reason he acts on the witches’ suggestions. It may be argued that the witches’ first appearance causes all of the events in the play that follow, however they are only a catalyst for these events. Ultimately the downfall of Macbeth is
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As a result, Macbeth considers the witches’ predictions to be a reliable source of information on which to base his actions. In act one scene three after the witches vanish, Macbeth demands ‘Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more’ (Act I, Sc III, 68) and asks ‘From whence you owe this strange intelligence’ showing the audience he is eager to hear what the witches have to say and that he does not write them off as ridiculous. While Banquo questions whether they ‘have eaten on the insane root, that takes the reason prisoner’ (Act I, Sc III, 82-3) Macbeth is unable to stop thinking about the witches’ prophecy as he immediately remarks to Banquo, ‘Your children shall be kings’ (Act I, Sc III, 84). Even though the witches failed to answer his question regarding where they acquired their information Macbeth is still obsessed with their predictions as he has complete faith in them. Later in the play, Macbeth, who is ‘Bent to know by the worst; for [his] good’ (Act III, Sc IV, 135-6) approaches the witches and orders them to ‘answer [him] to what [he] asks [them]’ (Act IV, Sc I, 59-60) showing us that Macbeth purposefully seeks out the witches to give him information which he will use to guide his actions. Macbeth’s trust of the witches along with his nature are the reasons the statements they make influence the course of the …show more content…
Even if the witches had never prophesied Macbeth’s future, his personality and influences would have caused him to attempt to become King. Shortly after the witches first appearance, Macbeth’s ambition can be seen when his ‘black and deep desires’ (Act I, Sc IV, 51) lead him to see Duncan’s son, the heir to the throne, as ‘A step on which [he] must fall down, or else o’erleap, for in [his] way [to the crown] it lies’ (Act I, Sc IV, 48-50). Correspondingly, Lady Macbeth’s impact over, and desire to advance her husband is shown when Macbeth states ‘We will proceed no further in this business’ (Act I, Sc VII, 31) in regards to the murder of Duncan, and Lady Macbeth calls him a ‘coward’ (Act I, Sc VII, 43) and asks ‘Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself’ (Act I, Sc VII, 35-6) to encourage him to go through with the murder. In contrast to Macbeth, after Banquo hears the witches predict ‘Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none’ (Act I, Sc III, 65) he does not act on the prediction by attempting to make his son, Fleance, king. Comparing how Macbeth and Banquo react to the witches’ predictions illustrates to us that Macbeth’s character and influences are part of the reason he acts on the prophecies Although, there is no evidence to suggest that Macbeth had thought about becoming king prior to his

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