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Impactof Lady Macbeth and the Three Witches on Macbeth’s Decisions
The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare reveals the struggleto acquire the throne and the changes that people undergo to have animpact in the kingdom. In particular, the play shows how Macbeth is acoward, and he is hesitant to be the king and only his wife as wellas the prophecies motivates him to seek the position. In reality, hefelt that he was not a leader and he did not want to handle theimmense pressure that comes with the role. However, Lady Macbeth hadother intentions that were in contrast to what Macbeth felt. Moreimportant, his wife was ambitious, and he used that quality ininfluencing the decisions that Macbeth made. In fact, he questionedhis masculinity when he was still unwilling to agree to the plan. Inorder to justify his manhood, he had to take the role and accept thathe will kill King Duncan. In this case, Macbeth is clearlymanipulated into being part of the mission. Shockingly, the prophecyboosts his confidence, and he is ready to take any extreme measurethat will protect his position as the king. This essay will revealthat Macbeth is not a leader since his wife, the witches and theirprophecies are the only factors that push him to be the king.
More important, the play shows that Lady Macbeth was an ambitiouswoman that pushed her husband to achieve more. In this case, Macbethwas reluctant, and he did not believe that he was good enough to bethe king. However, Lady Macbeth was ambitious and wanted to be thequeen. Hence, she was forced to push Macbeth to make some promptdecisions even if they were irrational so that they could get theroyalty. In fact, Lady Macbeth is the one that comes up with theidea of killing King Duncan so that they can retain the kingdom. Thescenario seems a bit absurd, and Macbeth is hesitant to execute theplan that his wife has created. Instead, his wife questions hismasculinity and accuses him of not being man enough. The allegationsclearly motivate him to act like a man, and he agrees to kill KingDuncan when he visits his castle later. In this case, it is clearthat Macbeth is not a leader since his wife is the one making theplan and pushing him to be part of the mission. He is willing to actafter the intimidation since he wants to prove that he is man enoughinstead. Lady Macbeth even insists that she will“chastise with the valoor of my tongue/ All that impedes thee fromthe golden round/ […] To have thee crowned withal” (Shakespeare,1.5.28-33). The statement shows that Lady Macbeth knew her husbandwas weak and she had to force him into action. Hence, she had to nagher into acting quickly so that they can get the kinship. It alsoproves that she was the dominant partner in the marriage since shedetermined what they did.
The witches’ prophecies had a change on how Macbeth looked atthings, and it also boosted his confidence. In this case, Macbeth didnot have the ideas of being the king since he thought that he did notdeserve the throne. However, the prophecy changed such notions, andhe ended up believing that he will get the chance to be the ruler. Infact, they are the ones that awake his ambitions since from thatpoint he was able to restructure his plans in preparation for theseat. The misguided sense of security pushes Macbeth to make someirrational decisions because he wants to provide a safe environmentfor his leadership (Das, 24). More important, the three witches hadrevealed that he would be the Thane of Cawdor and later the King ofScotland as well. At first, he did not believe that the prophecieswere correct and he ignored them. Instead, when he reaches home, KingDuncan declares that he will be the Thane of Cawdor. In particular,the fact that the first part of the prophecy was true changedeverything since he was able to believe that everything will change.He knew that he would be the future king, and he started preparingfor the seat as well. He also turns out to be comfortable andconfident while dealing with the various challenges that heexperiences. It is evident that he knew he would be the king and thatled to a person that was ready to make any decision that paved theway for more opportunities. He ends up understanding that his effortwill help him achieve whatever he wanted.
The prophecies and Lady Macbeth push Macbeth to make irrationaldecisions that influenced him to use some extreme measures inestablishing his authority. First, he decided to go ahead with theplan of killing King Duncan since it was the only way in which hecould get the leadership. In fact, after murdering the king, heaccuses Malcolm, who was his son of the death (Das, 14). In theprocess, he is able to erase any evidence that associated him withthe killing. He can win the trust of the people that trust him as thenew leader since he understands the decisions needed in running thekingdom. However, Macbeth wants to retain the throne, but, avoid hisfate that the three witches had revealed. For instance, he only wantsto keep the kinship and focuses on killing anyone that might be athreat to his authority. He makes some irrational choices that makehim become cockier since he believed that he will rule foreverwithout any interference. The fact that he had erased any competitionproved that he did not have any threat to his leadership since he hadgotten rid of Malcolm that perhaps knew what had happened (Das, 25).Besides that, Malcolm would have sought revenge and engage inactivities that will destabilize his throne. More important, he hadscared him, and that created room for his success in the long-run. Inthe midst of all the events, it is clear that Lady Macbeth and thethree witches are the two characters that changed how Macbeth lookedat things. Within a short time, he was transformed to anover-confident king that did not acknowledge advice from anotherperson since he was the king.
His position as the king blinds him from reality since he makes someextreme measures to protect his position that also leads to hisdownfall. More important, when the three witches prophesized that hewill be the king, they also told Banquo, who was his friend that hewould give birth to a generation of kings (Langis, 44). The statementwas a threat to Macbeth’s throne, and he had to do something aboutthe revelation. First, he knew that killing Banquo and his entirefamily was the only way of erasing competition for his seat. In thiscase, he believed that the prophecies were right and the failure torespond promptly meant that he could be ousted from the seat. He goesahead to kill Banquo, but, he misses on Fleance, his son that escapes(Langis, 46). However, he believes that Fleance will not return sincehe will be afraid of being killed just like his father. Later, hemeets the three witches that also give him a false sense of securitythat blinds him from reality instead. For instance, he thought thathe was reducing the threat to his throne and he will be able to havemore time where he will rule as the king. In reality, Macbeth wascreating more enemies when he tried to kill the people that somehowendangered his position (Langis, 45). In the end, his foes were ableto unite and waged war on his forces that had mistreated them allalong. The failure to handle the pressure and the ability to makerational decisions proves that Macbeth was not a leader. In fact, hewas defeated in the war, and that led to his downfall in the end.
In conclusion, Macbeth was not a leader, and both his wife and thethree witches are the ones that play a huge role in influencing thedecisions he made. In reality, Macbeth lacks the motivation of beingthe king since it seems like he is not ready for such a position. Onthe other hand, Lady Macbeth is more ambitious than him, and shepushes Macbeth to agree to his conditions. For instance, shecriticizes his masculinity, and she claims that he is often hesitantin making any major decision. The accusations make Macbeth reconsiderhis earlier stand, and he decides that he will be part of the missioninstead. He even goes ahead to kill King Duncan simply because hiswife and the prophecy had changed how he looked at things. His tenureas the king is also met with different scandals since he threatenspeople in order to scare his enemies. In particular, he accusesMalcolm, who was King Duncan’s son, of killing his father andrunning away. He also kills Banqua while his son Fleance manages torun away. He also murders Macduff, his son as well as the wife too.Some of these deaths and intimidation creates more enemies that vowto revenge. Hence, when the war starts, Macbeth ends up facing anarmy of people that believe he took the throne forcefully and theentire scenario influences his downfall as well. However, theinfluence of his wife and three witches also motivates him in thelong-run.
Das, Pragati. "Shakespeare`s Representation of Women in hisTragedies." Prime University Journal 6.2 (2012).
Langis, Unhae. "Shakespeare and prudential psychology: ambitionand akrasia in Macbeth." Shakespeare Studies 40 (2012):44.
Shakespeare,William. The tragedy of Macbeth. Vol. 2. Classic BooksCompany, 2001.