Macbeth's altered destiny and the role of the three witches.

Essay by niki_nmnCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2003

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An Altered Destiny

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare is an illustration of the supernatural and power of suggestion. This play opens with three suspenseful witches chanting a spell. The mood is gloomy, and the wicked and powerful appearance of the witches is bestowed upon us. As the devilish sisters continue their spell, it shows the powers the witches will hold over Macbeth. This also foreshadows the plans the witches will profess in the future.

The devious and manipulating witches find Macbeth and insist their first prophecies onto him. They offer Macbeth his future and reveal he will become Thane of Cawdor and King. At first the witches seem crazy, but as Macbeth is announced the Thane, he longs to become King as predicted. Macbeth then kills Duncan and wrongfully receives the throne. He also kills his friend, Banquo, to divert suspicion from himself. At first it seems to the people Macbeth is a loyal citizen, but he is cruel and misleading.

"Fair is foul, foul is fair"(Act I, s1, l10). The prophecies are fulfilled as the witches commanded.

It is easy to believe that these wicked women encouraged the downfall of Macbeth. Hecate admits she did not think highly of him as she says, "By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes" (Act IV, s1, l 44-45).

The witches gave Macbeth a second set of prophecies. He is told to beware of Macduff; on the other hand, any man born of woman can not harm him. He is also told not to worry about the rebellion until Birnam Wood attacks Dunsinane Hill, which is seemingly impossible. This gives Macbeth a false sense of security and overconfidence. He takes pride in the prophecies and keeps them close to his heart.

Macbeth soon realizes the deception and...