The Role of the Witches In Macbeth and Their Responsibility for Macbeth's Tragic End

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The Role of the Witches In Macbeth and Their Responsibility for Macbeth's Tragic End

The role of the witches in the play Macbeth depends on the nature of the audience. Initially, the Elizabethan audience consider Macbeth as a respectable and well-liked character. We do however learn that appearances can be deceptive which corresponds with the main theme of the play; "Fair is foul, foul is fair". This theme is first introduced in Act 1, Scene 1 where the witches foretell the struggle between the forces of good and evil in which Macbeth is to be involved. It is also an indication that all will not be as it seem s. This portrays a character as being much worse if the audience's first impressions of
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Without the witches, Macbeth may never have thought of taking Duncan's life at all. In Act 1, Scene 3, the witches tell Macbeth that he is thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor and that he "shalt be King thereafter". (1.3.50). Immediately after hearing the witches' prophesise that he will be king, Macbeth thinks that he must kill the current king to become king himself. Without the prophecy even Lady Macbeth probably would not have thought of doing such a thing.

It is not that the desire for Macbeth to become king would not have existed if the witches had not talked to Macbeth. The desire existed in both Macbeth and his wife naturally in their position as nobles.

The significance of the prophecy is that it is brought this desire to the foreground, and made it reality.

The witches told Macbeth that he would be king, and he took this statement for granted. For Macbeth, it suddenly changed from whether or not he would be king to how would get to be king. Without the witches to suggest the major course of action, Macbeth would not have been so bold as to pursue his ambition.

I feel the witches know that Macbeth will be paranoid and kill those about him. Hecate herself says: "And you all know, security is mortals' chiefest enemy." (3.5.32-33).

The witches also come to Macbeth again, speaking of his future and his downfall. Three apparitions appear before him. The first

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