Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful plays
Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful plays. One of, if not, the most prominent theme throughout the play is Macbeth’s constant battle between his free will and his fate. In the 11th century, Macbeth is fighting against the traitors of Scotland to protect his homeland. After his victorious battle, him and his best friend Banquo come across three witches. The witches state three prophecies: Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, he will become king, and Banquo’s son will become King. Lady Macbeth becomes greedy of becoming queen with Macbeth after hearing the prophecies. Both the voices of the witches and Lady Macbeth manipulate Macbeth but they do not make him do the actions. Macbeth is acting on his own free will.
Macbeth is influenced by the witches prophecies and sayings. He thinks about what could possibly happen to the King that will make him crowned King. He states “Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My thoughts, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man that function Is smothered in surmise, and nothing is But what is not.” (1.3.137-142), showing that Macbeth has thought murdering King Duncan was just a fantasy and could never happen. He has very brief thoughts of murder before Lady Macbeth has even manipulated him. The witches’ words have awakened Macbeth’s darker thoughts and compels him to make sure the
prophecy comes true. Macbeth hopes that the prophecy would come naturally by chance but he feels the need to kill King Duncan to absolutely make sure that the prophecy stays true. Macbeth states that “Whose horrid image of the unfix my hair, and make my seated heart knock at my ribs” (1.3.135-138), showing that he feels guilty even thinking about murdering. If he knew that his fate would lead him to murder, than he would not feel guilty about it. The witches never told Macbeth to murder King Duncan for his place on the throne, but that Macbeth will only become King. Macbeth can be influenced by others to make certain dangerous decisions and he would think that it was fate guiding him through his journey.
Lady Macbeth is the other main voice of manipulation of Macbeth’s.