Sep 12, 2018 in Research


Macbeth is a story, which is full of things that are beyond the natural world, and the interrelations between Macbeth and three witches at the beginning of the play are decisive for his life. Their prediction has a crucial role and influences on his plans and views. It changes Macbeth’s personality, character and relation to things, which were important for him before witches. He violates the law and forgets about conscience and honor just for self-realization. Macbeth is too blind to understand that witches just manipulate him, Hecate considers that “He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear” (Hecate p. 73). Macbeth’s openness and trust to witches are fatal for him. He is unable to distinguish a trick in their prediction that makes him very imprudent and conceited. 

This unnatural and mysterious way things happen reveals the dualism of Macbeth when he, being a great warrior and thane, has to commit crime in order to fulfill his destiny dictated by witches. One cannot say that Macbeth has a complex of inferiority, but, being an enthusiastic person with a great aims, he cannot resist the temptation to become a king. Unnatural creatures such as a ghost of Banquo frighten Macbeth and make him ponder over his deeds. At the same time, the moment when the ghost of Banquo appears at the stage is a crucial point when Macbeth loses the connection with the natural world. Lady Macbeth only reproaches her husband for his moral weakness, saying that the ghost is “the very painting of your fear” (Lady Macbeth p. 68). Thus, one may notice that some vestiges of wisdom and honor of Macbeth still remain. However, once again his considerations are not provoked by the pricks of conscience, but with a fear of retribution. Macbeth has never regretted the murder of Duncan and Banquo. The only thing that bothers him is anxiety of being punished for all crimes. Ghost of Banquo that appears several times in Macbeth symbolizes the inner torments of the main character. The ghost reminds Macbeth about his crime and betrayal. Actually, without saying a single word, the ghost of Banquo is one of the most influential characters for Macbeth, which enforces his estrangement from the natural world.

It is evident that Macbeth relies too much on witches’ prediction and even entrusts his own life to it. Macbeth is convinced that he “bears a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born” (Macbeth p. 118).  Finally, his confidence in witches’ forecast and assurance in his own invulnerability lead to his death. When Macbeth realizes that Macduff is able to kill him, he grows confused and blames witches saying “be these juggling fiends no more believ'd” (Macbeth p. 119). Their prediction affected his views and self-confidence so much that Macduff’s confession about the details of his birth demoralizes Macbeth completely and “cowed his better part of man” (Macbeth p. 119). Thus, his incredible openness to unnatural things does not only encourage him to kill people and usurp the power, but also disheartens and confuses Macbeth. He is courageous while he is convinced that Macduff cannot kill him, but after his revelation Macbeth refuses to fight with him.

His credulity to the witches and their prediction was the main reason of his rise and fall. Macbeth interprets the prediction word for word that prevents him from revealing the hidden meaning of it. Therefore, he is not afraid of army of ten thousands of soldiers, which is going to attack him because “Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane I cannot taint with fear” (Macbeth p. 107). Obviously, he could not expect that it is not a literal meaning. Until the first prediction has occurred, Macbeth believes every word that the witches have told. He gets to be unable to think and act independently and considers only the words of witches. Macbeth kills Duncan because the witches promised that he would be a king, then he assigns the murder of Banquo because the witches predicted that his descendants will rule in the future.

Almost none of his plans or deeds are induced by his own will. At the same time, when all predictions come true, Macbeth turns into cool-blooded villain, forgetting about his fears and remorse. Thus, the dependence of Macbeth upon the things, which are beyond the natural world are clear. Moreover, he can be considered as just a tool in hands of these mysterious creatures whose prediction inspired Macbeth’s metamorphose and growing fatalism. 


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