Prophesy's Influence On Macbeth

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What was the most important influence on Macbeth? Polly Canning The play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, is about a Scottish general, named Macbeth who develops the ambition of becoming the king, soon after being told of this prophesy by the three witches. I believe his own ambition is what influenced Macbeth the most. Macbeth is valiant, but not virtuous; he relies on murder to achieve his ambitions and once he murders King Duncan and is crowned King of Scotland, he embarks on further massacres with increasing ease. In the end, ambition consumes Macbeth and is what ultimately causes his downfall. Macbeth is told by witches of three prophesies; he will become thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor…show more content…
I believe the three witches are not the greatest influence on Macbeth, but they do implant the goal of becoming king into his mind. The last prophesy causes Macbeth to have thoughts of killing King Duncan, “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man”. (1.3.7) The witches never say how Macbeth would become king, but it seems he thought of murder as the first and only solution, this demonstrations his ambition and eagerness to become king. When the second prophesy comes true, Macbeth realises he will have to get rid of Malcolm as well, or give up his ambition of being king, “The prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, for in my way it lies.” (1.4.3) Malcolm becomes just another person who is in the way of Macbeth’s ambition, though he has not even killed Duncan yet. During this Soliloquy, “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the…show more content…
Now that he has killed three people, his ambition will stop at nothing to protect his crown. Macbeth is afraid of Banquo as his children were prophesied to be kings, “To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo. Stick deep”. (3.1.3) Macbeth already accomplished his goal of becoming king, but decides to order three murderers to kill Banquo and his son. Macbeth later orders the murders of Macduff's family too, “For mine own good all causes shall give way. I am in blood stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er”. (3.4.7) Macbeth is letting his ambitious get the better of him and is doing murdering people for his own good, and justifying the murders saying, it is all or nothing, he already murdered four people, he may as well continue. Once Macbeth decides to use violence to further his quest for power, it is difficult to stop. There are always potential threats to the throne and it is always tempting to use violent means to dispose of them. It gets easier and easier for Macbeth to commit heinous crimes. People become casualties that stand in between him and the

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