Essay title: The Magic of Persuasion
Macbeth is the story of a man who falls from his noble state.In the beginning, Macbeth was a courageous fighter for Scotland’s King Duncan.Macbeth is soon overcome with greed for power, so he kills the king and crowns himself.He becomes worried of losing his newly gained power causing him to kill more people.In the end the lords and nobles join forces with the king’s son, Malcolm, to destroy Macbeth.In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the character Macbeth was persuaded by the three witches to commit evil, leading to his tragic downfall. Macbeth first encounters the three witches when he is returning to Scotland after defeating his enemy Macdonwald.
The witches discuss with Macbeth and Banquo what they can expect in the future.“FIRST WITCH.All hail, Macbeth!Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! / SECOND WITCH.All hail, Macbeth!Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! / THIRD WITCH.All hail, Macbeth!That thou shalt be a king hereafter! (I.
iii.48-50).Macbeth only knows what the first witch is saying to be true, because he is already Thane of Glamis.However, he doesn’t know what to think when the second and third witches say he will be Thane of Cawdor and soon after, king.
Both the Thane of Cawdor and the king are still alive.At this point, Macbeth isn’t sure if he can actually trust the witches because he doesn’t know about what they have said.The witches then continue with their prophecies.They tell Banquo that, “thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (I.iii.
67).After telling Macbeth that he will be king, they tell Banquo that his sons will be king.Macbeth remembers that fact, and acts upon it later. The witches vanish after giving their news of the future.The king’s lords, Ross and Angus, come to tell Macbeth some great news.He is will receive the title, Thane of Cawdor.
Macbeth is now starting to trust the witches’ words.Macbeth believes the witches are right, and that he will not have to help his prophecy come true.“If chance have me king, why, chance may crown me, / without my stir” (I.iii.143-144).He doesn’t want to get involved with his fate, he just wants fate to lead it’s own course.Macbeth is hoping that he will be crowned king when the time is right.
However, things don’t only go as planned. King Duncan calls for a meeting with Macbeth.At the meeting, Macbeth is officially given the title, Thane of Cawdor.However, Duncan’s son, Malcolm, is given the title Prince of Cumberland.That entitles him to be king when Duncan passes away.
Macbeth reacts to Malcolm’s promotion with “that is a step / on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, / for in my way it lies” (I.iv.48-50).This is the first time Macbeth gives a sign that he will take any necessary actions to become king and fulfill his prophecy.
His dark ambitions are coming out.Macbeth now fully trusts what the witches have told him, and he wants no future problems. In order to completely fulfill his prophecy, Macbeth kills the king.He is crowned king as Malcolm flees to England.
Now that Macbeth is king, he becomes very worried that someone will try to take his power away.He hires three murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, to prevent Banquo’s prophecy from being fulfilled.Fleance, however, does escape.The murderer explains it to Macbeth by saying, “Most royal sir, Fleance is ‘scaped” (III.iv.
20).Even though Macbeth just hired men to murder his friend out of cold blood, the murderers still see Macbeth as an honorable man because they address him as ‘royal sir’.Finally, Macbeth kills Macduff’s family because Macduff betrayed him.They were only innocent bystanders, and had nothing to do with Macduff’s decision to flee and help Malcolm.
Macbeth trusts the witches the first time, and he acted upon their words.He visits them once again later in the story.This time, the witches summon three apparitions to due their bidding.The first apparition is an armored head.It warns Macbeth “Beware Macduff! / Beware the Thane of Fife.” (IV.i.71-72).The head warns Macbeth, yet he feels that he has nothing to worry about because Macduff is far off in England.The fact the apparition is a head is significant because it is Macduff who in the end, will cut off Macbeth’s own helmeted head.The second apparition appears in the form of a bloody child.The child tells Macbeth that “none of woman born / shall harm Macbeth” (IV.i.80-81).Macbeth takes that to mean that no one will be able to harm him that comes from a woman.The bloody child is very significant because children that aren’t born the natural way come out unusually bloody.The third apparition is a child wearing a crown and holding a tree.The child warns Macbeth that “Macbeth shall never vanquished be until / Great Birnam Wood.