Shakespeare's "Macbeth".

Essay by walterHigh School, 12th grade May 2003

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"Something wicked this way comes" Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is a play about murder,

black magic, witches, the struggle for power and deception. These words are spoken by

one of the three witches on Macbeth's second visit to the witches.

Macbeth begins the play as a noble man and a courageous warrior. However he

becomes an evil man after meeting the witches and because of the influence of his wife

and as a result of his undying ambition.

The witches play an important role in introducing the play to the audience. The witches

meet Macbeth and Banguo in Act 1, Scene 3 and tell Macbeth of his future and Banguo's

son's future. The witches first meet Macbeth and Banguo on a Scottish moor after a

battle and near the end of the day. They tell Macbeth he will become king and that

Banquo's son Fleance would also be king in the future.

(I,iii,48-69. The witches

influence Macbeth in killing Duncan, because of their prediction.

The statement by the witches "Something wicked this way comes (iv, I, 45) confirms

that Macbeth is evil and he seeks them out because they are evil. Shakespeare's audience

was an Elizabethan audience and considered witches and fortune telling to be

Evil. The witches are used by Shakespeare to set the plot for the evil that will come.

When Macbeth meets the witches for the second time to find what the future holds and

what his fate will be. The witches know that Macbeth has killed Duncan, the king of

Scotland, and had murderers kill Fleance so the prophecy of Banguo's son being king

could not happen.

Shakespeare's use of witches which represent evil, tell the audience that Macbeth is evil

and ambitious and carries thru the theme of murder, deception and evil throughout the


Macbeth shows his ambition to be king by not attacking the witches or disputing what

they have predicted. Macbeth has Banguo murdered so that he cannot tell anyone of the

witches prediction and because Banguo suspects him of murdering the king.

Also to keep his position he has Fleance killed, this confirms that he wants to stay

king. Macbeth was already ambitious because he was a noble, owned a castle and was a

captain in the army.

The witches and Lady Macbeth do influence Macbeth to kill the king but it is still

Macbeth that does the deed.

In the end ambition over took Macbeth's nobility and loyalty.

Macbeth knew that Duncan was king and that soon he would have to kill him in order

to be king. Lady Macbeth urged him to kill the king. She believes that the will elevate

their status and wealth.

Lady Macbeth influences Macbeth from the beginning, she had to convince her

husband to do the murderous deed. She knew that Macbeth was a nobleman and warrier

so she started out by saying to him that she has seen the future (act 1, scene 5, line 57)

and he will be king.

Lady Macbeth also tells her husband that he is not a man and she cannot respect him if

he is not able to fulfill his destiny. Macbeth knows that murder is a great sin, but his wife

is forcing him to do the deed. He knows that Duncan has been a good king and he

worries he will be caught.

In the end his wife convinces him to kill Duncan, also he has the witches' prophesy that

says he will be king and he would like the position of wealth and power. After the

murder she tells Macbeth to not think about what he has done. Macbeth himself says in

Act 2 , Scene 2, line 73, " To know my deed 'twere best not know myself," and Lady

Macbeth realizes what she has done by encouraging her husband when she says in line

64, "My hands are of your colour, but I shame.

With the first part of the witches prediction complete Macbeth know worries about the

son of Banguo who may murder him to become king. More evil is plotted and Macbeth

has Fleance killed.

Throughout the play murder, evil and superstition are made to make Macbeth more