Shakespeare further cultivates Macbeths quickly changing character through soliloquy and dramatic irony. His success in doing so is disclosed as the once ‘noble’ Macbeth goes against all odds to convey his idea of fulfilling the witches’ prophecies: to kill King Duncan. Macbeth also notifies us that to even anticipate slaughtering the sacred King is an act of treachery and betrayal nonetheless he delivers himself as quite motivated and determined to do so. The “horrid image”, “doth unfix” his hair and make his “seated heart knock”; his lust for ultimate power poisons his loyalty and decays at his integrity. As the play moves on, the audience observe the hasty crumbling of his devotion to God and the King.
Though he may have always had the final say when it came to the numerous killings, his wife uses her power to effortlessly persuade her weak husband to make him do whatever she wants him to. At first, her strength inspires him. But as the play goes on, he realizes she has turned him into a power hungry monster who continues in the bloody path she set him on. The self-destruction of the two all began with the witches’ prophecies saying that Macbeth would become the Thane of Glamis, the Thane of Cawdor, and ultimately become king. Macbeth is not naturally inclined to perform malicious deeds, but he deeply desires power.
Throughout Scene 1-4 Macbeth is portrayed as a heroic and valiant man, however with sly and manipulative characteristics brought out by the Witches. The use of structure and language allows Shakespeare to present both Macbeths flaws and weaknesses to the audience. Structurally scene 1 opens with the witches gathered together reciting plans about meeting Macbeth, establishing an occult malevolence which permeates the play. The choice of starting with the witches instantly creates a mood of terror and unearthly evil, setting an unnatural and deceptive atmosphere. The third witch says, ‘There to meet Macbeth’, this intertwining of Macbeth reflects the relationship which will be made between him and the witches, and the evil which is going to be involved in Macbeth’s life.
Macbeth first takes this in a joking manner, but soon begins to take it very seriously. When he came home to his wife, he shared the witches’ prediction with her and she encourages Macbeth to quicken the process by murdering the current king, King Duncan. After murdering the king, Macbeth soon finds himself needing to kill many more in order to keep his secret. His kingship comes into jeopardy when he hears of someone named Macduff who is foretold to have the power to defeat him. Macbeth hears some juxtapose news that gives him a reckless attitude.
A hero, a soldier, a noble man - we are first introduced to Macbeth at the start of the play and it becomes apparent that he is these three things. As the play advances he begins to shine through as revenge seeking, devious and an evil murderer? But why; what makes Macbeth change character and to perform lifes most gruesome act, murder? Of course Macbeth himself had reasons and influences that allowed him to become this way, including his wife Lady Macbeth, the witches prophecies, his need for power and of course his 'fatal flaw'. Lady Macbeth - cold hearted, power, witch-like - is the most reasonable for turning Macbeth into an evil murderer.
The witches create Macbeth’s fate by inciting him of his rise to power, which ignites his latent ambition to achieve greatness. Although Macbeth is warned as to the validity of the prophecies by Banquo (Act 1, Scene 3, lines 131 – 135: “But 'tis strange and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence”) he is overwhelmingly tempted by the prospect of success. Lady Macbeth is shown to be a ruthlessly ambitious woman whose only chance to become powerful is to be queen, To secure this prospect, she persuades Macbeth to murder Duncan. As the witches did not specify how their prophecies would be realised, the terrible murder molds the fate that the witches predict. Act 1, Scene 1 is set in an ominous atmosphere of thunder and lightning.
It becomes apparent to the reader that the witches are a part of the present and the future. Hearing of his prophesized nobility, Macbeth is all too excited to get a jump start on his future. To do so, he must get rid of the present king though. It becomes known to the reader that this foreshadowing advances the plot of Duncan’s death. Upon reading her husbands letter, Lady Macbeth is too very ecstatic about their future.
However, he is not yet fully convinced that the throne will become his without force so the thoughts of murdering his beloved king begin to crawl into his head against his will. Desperate for some help and guidance, he writes to his soulmate, Lady Macbeth who upon hearing of the prophecies and the truth that had already been revealed, transforms from a nurturing wife and mother to and unsexed individual and begins to lack in all the qualities of a woman, similar to the witches in an ate, in an attempt to persuade Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is a pivotal character in the murder of King Duncan. When Lady Macbeth confronts her husband about not wanting to follow through with her plan, she mentions that ‘when you durst do it, then you were a man’. Prior to this, she calls upon the spirits to unsex her and remove her of her womanly nature so she can
The witches are possibly linked as the “charms” seem to influence Macbeth and he begins to echo “foul and fair”. Whenever Macbeth seems at his most inhumane he uses rhyming couplets for example, “knell that summons…to heaven…hell” is used before killing Duncan in act 2 and “fight…heaven…find it out to-night” before killing Banquo in act 3.
Third and then the witches second prediction he becomes cocky and assured with himself but this creates a snowball effect of Macbeth trying to cover his track making him kill more and provides him with nothing but hardship. All this can be viewed as his fate but this was not free will it was a weak man manipulated by everyone around him. The witches propheses are a big part of the start of Macbeth downfall when him and Banquo telling their predictions its starts Macbeth on the path of the belif that he could have all he wanted in hbis wildest dreams. When the withces say “All hail, Macbeth!,Thane of Glamis!,Thane of Cawdor!,That shalt be King hereafter!” (1.3.47-50) Macbeth takes the bait like a wide eyed child to a piece of candy. He asked just as they thought if chance will have me” King, why, Chance may crown me, Without my stir.” (1.3.43-44) he was pulled into their lies and trickery from the very beginning and he is thrown right into his choice to kill King Duncan but who most pushed him was Lady Macbeth.