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Macbeth: Witches Influence on Macbeth's Decisions

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Macbeth: Witches Influence on Macbeth's Decisions

In the Shakespearean play "Macbeth," the witches’ influence on how Macbeth made his decisions played a crucial part in contributing to his eventual destruction. The witches were trying to create chaos by prophesying to Macbeth in order to get him to act. They planted the seed of evil in Macbeth's head that grew to dominate his mind. But it was Macbeth who made the choices that determined his fate. He was not forced to kill Duncan nor any of his other victims. But after he murdered Duncan, Macbeth lost his sanity. The witches were easily able to control his mind. They made him believe that he was invincible, and then he willingly continued to fight when he knew that it would mean his doom. The Weird Sisters planned Macbeth’s downfall, but it was Macbeth's own free will that led him to it.

The three witches, called the Weird Sisters, are the roots of the problem that is the subject of this story. The Weird Sisters are creators of chaos by nature. They associate with evil spirits and obey them, and they are followers of the evil goddess, Hecate. In the play the witches, with their spells, plan the downfall of Macbeth. They cannot directly harm him themselves, so they tell Macbeth predictions for his possible future, in order to make him act on them. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become the Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. They poison his mind with these prophecies, making him greedy and bringing out the evil qualities in his soul. When the first of the promises is proven authentic, Macbeth then considers the idea of murdering Duncan for the first time. This is his first step on the journey to his demise, as the witches had planned.

The three witches' plan succeeded, they had aroused the greed in Macbeth, allowing him to make the most important choice of the play - to kill Duncan. Macbeth does not easily make this decision. In fact, at first he decides against it, but, with the knowledge that he could be king, he could not help himself from considering it. After constant persuasion from Lady Macbeth, she and Macbeth finally made their decision. Lady Macbeth would load Duncan's attendants with liquor, and then, on Lady Macbeth's signal, Macbeth would creep into Duncan's chamber and slay him with his servant's weapons. This act surges Macbeth forward on the direct path to his destruction. Afterwards, when Duncan is a discovered dead, Macbeth kill again when he murders the servants who were guarding Duncan. Claiming he acted in rage, Macbeth kills the servants so that they cannot bear witness against him. Macbeth's greed had taken control of him and he could not turn back. It only took the one idea embedded into Macbeth's head to lead him toward corruption.

After Macbeth grows more sinful and overpowered with greed he does not make any real attempt to change, and this bothers his conscious. Slowly Macbeth loses grasp of his sanity and self-control. Being consumed with power, Macbeth lets nothing stand in the way of his reign, because his reign is all that he has left now. Macbeth's malevolence and deceptiveness are shown further when he becomes so obsessed with the witches prophecies to his friend, Banquo that he decides to hire two men to kill him and his son. It is not long before Macbeth's own ruthlessness begins to disturb him, greatly. He suffers from troubled sleep, nightmares and loss of appetite, and he is going insane. At a banquet in his castle Macbeth envisions Banquo's ghost and gives a terrified reaction in front of his guests. Also because Macduff does not attend the banquet and flees to England, Macbeth, in anger, decides to have his family murdered. Later in the play Macbeth says to Lady Macbeth, "I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o'er." This remark paints the image of Macbeth swimming in a sea of blood, having proceeded so far that it is easier to continue than to go back. Macbeth has lost hope. With regret, he feels that he is past the point of no return, he has sinned so brutally and severely that he is unable to atone for it.

Now that the witches have succeeded in bringing out Macbeth's evil qualities, they are ready to finish their plot and make sure that Macbeth

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