Macbeth was nervous, and paranoid of the crime he committed. “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t” (1.5.65) Three witches tell Macbeth that he is in line of becoming king, thane of cawdor and thane of glamis. Duncan creates Macbeth thane of cawdor in thanks for winning the battle at forres. Macbeth writes to Lady Macbeth from the battle of forres and tells her what the witches said and she starts planning on killing king duncan, but doesn't say anything
Macbeth says, “If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me/Without my stir.” (1.3.143).This is significant because Macbeth still has a sense of right and wrong. These bad thoughts eventually come back when King Duncan states that Malcolm will be the next king. Scared that his second prophecy would not come true, fear leads him to make rash decisions. As Lady Macbeth pressures Macbeth to kill King Duncan, paranoia takes over Macbeth. When people find out that the king is murdered they accuse the guards.
He wants to solidify his power so he kills Banquo and attempts to kill Banquo's son Fleance, but fails. Macbeth starts to feel guilty and sees Banquo's ghost. Soon the witches appear again telling Macbeth to beware Macduff, no man born of a woman shall harm Macbeth, and fear not till Birnam Wood comes to Dunsanine. Macbeth follows the witches warning and kills Macduff's family, but Macduff is not around. He’s actually in England trying to convince Malcolm, Duncan's son, to return and kill Macbeth.
In the play Macbeth, the main theme is the corruption of power through unchecked ambition. Macbeth is a faithful soldier and a good man, until three witches tell him of his future. Upon telling his wife the grand news, she devises a scheme where Macbeth kills the king in order to make his future the present. Macbeth is wary at first, and often talks of his guilt and soul before the murder, but, in order to please his wife, and feed his desire to become king, he murders the poor king in his sleep. He then blames two guards for the deed and becomes king of Scotland.
However, because Lady Macbeth has ambition beyond her status, she wants him to become King as soon as possible. The only problem for Lady Macbeth is she feels Macbeth is too nice to kill Duncan. She says “it is too full o’ the milk of human kindness”, which shows Lady Macbeth thinks of her husband as a coward. The soliloquy used by Shakespeare truly shows the disturbed mind of Lady Macbeth; creating an unsettling affect on the audience through his representation of her as a scheming and dangerous character. The use of imagery reveals that witchcraft was a fascination of Elizabethan England.
When Lady Macbeth informs Macbeth about the plan of murdering Duncan, he refuses to do so as he says “We will proceed no further in this business”. After insults from Lady Macbeth and making him feel less like a man, Macbeth halfheartedly progresses with the murder. He sees a dagger before him and questions whether or not it is a “false creation”. Subsequent to the killing, Macbeth returns to his room where Lady Macbeth continues to taunt him. “You do unbend your noble strength, to think / So brainsickly of things.” She comments on how he has become more worried and thinks feverishly of things.
Macbeth, on the other hand, does not like a possible future by the withes prophecy: that he will kill his King. This shows the difference between Lord and Lady Macbeth. It is only after much nagging and cajoling from his wife that he decides to go through with it, and then half heartedly. His wife uses insults, demeans him, and makes him feel less than a man, so Macbeth finally gives in. While Lady Macbeth is the one who sets the ball rolling, it was the witches that put the ball at the top of the hill.
She pushes for Macbeth to do the unthinkable all so that they may become Kind and Queen. She accuses Macbeth of not acting like a man. “When you durst do it, then you were a man”, if he went ahead with killing the King. This was a great force for Macbeth to proceed with the task. When he finally goes
That is a step on which I must fall down, or else oerleap for in my way it lies. Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires.” When Lady Macbeth receives the letter from her husband about the witches prediction she also realises that Duncan must killed. She thinks that Macbeth deserves to be great but also believes he is too noble to do such a thing. “Yet do I fear thy nature It is too full othe milk of human-kindness to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” This shows that Lady Macbeth simply brings out the murderous butcher within Macbeth which was always subconsciously there with his ambition for glory.
Macbeth is at first skeptical of the witches’ claims. Lady Macbeth’s aggressive persuasion forces him to fulfill the prophecies. Lady Macbeth challenges Macbeth's masculinity by aggressively pursuing the prophecies, and taunting him saying “When you durst do it, then you were a man”(Shakespeare, 366). This forces Macbeth to act according to the will of Lady Macbeth to establish his dominance. Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to aid her in her plot to overcome her husband's reluctance and force him to kill Duncan.