Macbeth was a cruel, ruthless leader, and was fully deserving of his bloody fate.
His rise to power was marked by corruption, betrayal, and murder. However, Macbeth’s actions can be traced back to the influence that external forces had on him, most notably his wife, and the witches. The witches gave Macbeth the idea that he can become king, and it was Lady Macbeth who put the plan in motion. Lady Macbeth, in the first half of the play, manipulated Macbeth to do the things that he did. It is the actions that he committed under the influence of his wife that led to the further atrocities he commits later in the play. In the end, it is Lady Macbeth that is most responsible for the death and destruction in
The witches, while being a major influence on the play’s events, are not the most culpable for the devastation. They create the idea that Macbeth can become king, but they don’t necessarily carry it out. The witches prophecy serves as a sort of guideline for the characters. The events that the prophecy details may come true if the characters will it to happen. The prophecy stated Macbeth would be king, and Banquo’s sons will be kings as well(P. 17). Macbeth and his wife worked aggressively to make the first part of the prophecy to be true, not the witches. This theory on the characters’ having the ability to determine whether the prophecy comes true is supported with the case of
Fleance. After escaping death from Macbeth’s assassins, Fleance is never heard from again (P. 97). It is Malcolm, not Fleance, that becomes king. Shakespeare did this to show that the prophecy is not necessarily an exact prediction of the future, rather it is
showing what could happen, under the right circumstances. Though their predictions had great weight on the events of the play, it is not the witches that carried out the events necessary to fulfill the prophecy, which makes them not the most responsible.
Lady Macbeth’s influence over Macbeth in the first couple of acts set the foundation for the brutality of Macbeth’s reign. It is her that is responsible for the death and destruction. After receiving her husband’s letter, which detailed the witches prophecy, she is the one who creates the plan to kill Duncan (P. 33). She describes her plan in Act 1 Scene 7, saying that she will slip a sort of poison into the drinks of the guards, temporarily making them sleep. This allowed Macbeth to sneak in undetected, and murder Duncan.As a result, Macbeth was crowned king. However, it took some convincing on Lady Macbeth’s part to will her husband to commit the murder. Macbeth was very close to backing out of the plan, but Lady Macbeth responded by questioning his manhood and courage (P.43). After this, Macbeth came to grips with the idea. Lady
Macbeth, because she was the one who set the events in motion that led to Macbeth’s reign of terror, is the one that is most responsible for the death and destruction in…