In the tragedy ofMacbeth, Lady Macbeth and the supernatural have a strong influence on the life ofMacbeth.
When reading the tragedy, we notice an escalation in Macbeth’spersonality due to the manipulation of his wife. His wife manipulates him tochange his personality as her main ambition is to become queen. The supernaturalmakes prophetic prediction about Macbeth’s future . The witches’ also have abig influence on Macbeth’s decisions. However, Lady Macbeth also played a bigrole in persuading Macbeth into murdering Duncan. Macbeth’s decisions are notonly due to his manipulation but he is manipulated into believing that hecommits some of his wrong doings due to his free will but in reality that isnever the case, seeing it as a readers perspective.The supernaturalmanipulates Macbeth into making his decisions and thus Macbeth fears thesupernatural but they are so powerful that they manage to tempt him no matterwhat. The supernatural can be seen as instruments of evil tempting Macbeth intowrongdoing and figures of his imagination.
The aim of the witches is to makesure that Macbeth never succeeds and gets away with his actions. In the playShakespeare writes “for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth”- “bloody child”The witches encourage the murder of Duncan and so Macbeth is tempted into murderingDuncan, wanting to become King but not wanting to assassinate the King. Thewitches’ trick Macbeth into believing that Macduff is soft but he decides tomurder Macbeth due to the assassination, Macbeth chooses death to humiliation. Themanipulation of the witches’ is one of the big obstacles Macbeth faces in thetragedy. When “fair is foul and foul is fair” is said by the supernatural, theyare pre-empting what is going to happen in the play.
It marks the beginning ofMacbeth’s life being turned around by the manipulation of the supernatural. Thewitches’ make predictions on Macbeth’s future, “to win us to our harm,? Theinstruments of darkness tell us truths”. “Darkness” is a theme throughout theplay to symbolise the supernatural and their evilness.
The witches’ have adefect which is very effective in manipulating Macbeth they tell a lot of liesmaking Macbeth commit evil leading to his own “harm” i.e the assassination ofDuncan. This shows us that clearly Macbeth believes that killing Duncan is agood thing as we can see his ambition “to win” and by harming he will win histhrone as King, we can clearly what effect the manipulation has had on Macbeth.There is evidence of Macbeth in Act 1 admitting his fear in the promises thatthe supernatural have made ” The supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannotbe good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success. Macbeth is alsomanipulated by the thoughts in his mind and thus imagines thing that are not there.
An effective example of this is when in the tragedy is the scene of the dagger.”is this the dagger which I see before me, The handle towards my hand?” Thisshows the increase Macbeth’s thoughts about the murder and maybe that he is being manipulated by thethoughts in his own mind. This use of a question mark shows that Macbeth isunsure of this prophesies, whether he killed the king i.e. the dagger issymbolising the murder of the King and Macbeth has a lot of confusion in hismind to whether the dagger is real or not.
The dagger may also be symbolising his heptic reign as a whole on thethrone. Macbeth is seeing the throne but is finding hard to accept what he hasdone and to take in the fact that he actually murdered Macbeth , since it wasnot entirely his free will to murder the King and do everything possible toseize the throne. The may be also seen as the supernatural trying to controlMacbeth’s mind and focus him into committing evil, whenever the supernaturalappears in the novel, there is always evil involved in whatever they do. We aresure that the dagger relates back to the murder of Macbeth because in Act 1,Scene 7 he refers to “their very daggers” whilst planning the murder that hegreatly fears with Lady Macbeth. In the Banquet Scene Macbeth violently reactsto Banquo’s ghost as he his maintaining his “fake face” This is another exampleof Macbeth being manipulated and daunted by his visions. Lady Macbethmanipulates Macbeth into exhibiting more male like qualities as soon as he seesthat he turns down on an idea or decides to take it slowly. Lady Macbeth has agreat influence on Macbeth and changes Macbeth persuading him to be a tougher.
Lady Macbeth describes Macbeth as ” too full o’th’milk of human kindness”describing him as being too full of kindness but still acknowledging hisambition “Art not without ambition”. Lady Macbeth also compares Macbeth, “yourhand, your tongue ; look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t”.She compares Macbeth’s personality to an “innocent flower” prompting to pullout his inner “serpent” qualities i.eevil and aggressive. As a reader, we see the Murder of Duncan as a turningpoint in the play as it shows the influence that Lady Macbeth’s words have onMacbeth. Lady Macbeth requests to be filled of “direst cruelty” this is a verysmart way in manipulating Macbeth and making it seem like it was Macbeth’s freewill as she requests it to manipulate Macbeth into being like her. Lady Macbethalso tells Macbeth that “when you durst do it, then you were a man” once hemurders that will make him a man. Lady Macbeth wants Macbeth to have courageand she tell him that with courage he will not fail to Murder Duncan becauseMacbeth is very scared about what he is about to do and is lacking courage hecan’t believe that he is actually about to assassinate Macbeth.
“But screw yourcourage to the sticking- place, And we’ll not fail.”In conclusion, Ibelieve that in Macbeth’s wrong doings there is no free will involved and it isall manipulation. Macbeth can’t bear the idea of the assassination but he doesit to prove his courage and masculinity.
In addition, he also does it with thereassurance of the witches that he will have a successful and long lastingreign after his reign but it doesn’t turn out that way. It leads to his murder,this is a very big frustration for Macbeth because he is being punished forsomething which all in all he was against doing and new was wrong doing. Weknow how uncomfortable he feels as in the script it says “not bear the knifemyself” showing how off putting off the assassination is for him.
The witches’fate and manipulation throughout the tragedy is what causes Macbeth’s mind togo out of control and imagine things that are not there. All in all I believethat Macbeth is a great character and I believe that without the influence hewouldn’t have assassinated Duncan.