In the tragedy of
Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the supernatural have a strong influence on the life of
Macbeth. When reading the tragedy, we notice an escalation in Macbeth’s
personality due to the manipulation of his wife. His wife manipulates him to
change his personality as her main ambition is to become queen. The supernatural
makes prophetic prediction about Macbeth’s future . The witches’ also have a
big influence on Macbeth’s decisions. However, Lady Macbeth also played a big
role in persuading Macbeth into murdering Duncan. Macbeth’s decisions are not
only due to his manipulation but he is manipulated into believing that he
commits some of his wrong doings due to his free will but in reality that is
never the case, seeing it as a readers perspective.

The supernatural
manipulates Macbeth into making his decisions and thus Macbeth fears the
supernatural but they are so powerful that they manage to tempt him no matter
what. The supernatural can be seen as instruments of evil tempting Macbeth into
wrongdoing and figures of his imagination. The aim of the witches is to make
sure that Macbeth never succeeds and gets away with his actions. In the play
Shakespeare writes “for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth”- “bloody child”
The witches encourage the murder of Duncan and so Macbeth is tempted into murdering
Duncan, wanting to become King but not wanting to assassinate the King. The
witches’ trick Macbeth into believing that Macduff is soft but he decides to
murder Macbeth due to the assassination, Macbeth chooses death to humiliation. The
manipulation of the witches’ is one of the big obstacles Macbeth faces in the
tragedy. When “fair is foul and foul is fair” is said by the supernatural, they
are pre-empting what is going to happen in the play. It marks the beginning of
Macbeth’s life being turned around by the manipulation of the supernatural. The
witches’ make predictions on Macbeth’s future, “to win us to our harm,? The
instruments of darkness tell us truths”. “Darkness” is a theme throughout the
play to symbolise the supernatural and their evilness. The witches’ have a
defect which is very effective in manipulating Macbeth they tell a lot of lies
making Macbeth commit evil leading to his own “harm” i.e the assassination of
Duncan. This shows us that clearly Macbeth believes that killing Duncan is a
good thing as we can see his ambition “to win” and by harming he will win his
throne 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 that
the supernatural have made ” The supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot
be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success.


Macbeth is also
manipulated 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?” This
shows the increase Macbeth’s thoughts about the murder  and maybe that he is being manipulated by the
thoughts in his own mind. This use of a question mark shows that Macbeth is
unsure of this prophesies, whether he killed the king i.e. the dagger is
symbolising the murder of the King and Macbeth has a lot of confusion in his
mind to whether the dagger is real or not. 
The dagger may also be symbolising his heptic reign as a whole on the
throne. Macbeth is seeing the throne but is finding hard to accept what he has
done and to take in the fact that he actually murdered Macbeth , since it was
not entirely his free will to murder the King and do everything possible to
seize the throne. The may be also seen as the supernatural trying to control
Macbeth’s mind and focus him into committing evil, whenever the supernatural
appears in the novel, there is always evil involved in whatever they do. We are
sure 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 he
greatly fears with Lady Macbeth. In the Banquet Scene Macbeth violently reacts
to Banquo’s ghost as he his maintaining his “fake face” This is another example
of Macbeth being manipulated and daunted by his visions.


Lady Macbeth
manipulates Macbeth into exhibiting more male like qualities as soon as he sees
that he turns down on an idea or decides to take it slowly. Lady Macbeth has a
great 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 his
ambition “Art not without ambition”. Lady Macbeth also compares Macbeth, “your
hand, your tongue ; look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t”.

She compares Macbeth’s personality to an “innocent flower” prompting to pull
out his inner  “serpent” qualities i.e
evil and aggressive. As a reader, we see the Murder of Duncan as a turning
point in the play as it shows the influence that Lady Macbeth’s words have on
Macbeth. Lady Macbeth requests to be filled of “direst cruelty” this is a very
smart way in manipulating Macbeth and making it seem like it was Macbeth’s free
will as she requests it to manipulate Macbeth into being like her. Lady Macbeth
also tells Macbeth that “when you durst do it, then you were a man” once he
murders that will make him a man. Lady Macbeth wants Macbeth to have courage
and she tell him that with courage he will not fail to Murder Duncan because
Macbeth is very scared about what he is about to do and is lacking courage he
can’t believe that he is actually about to assassinate Macbeth. “But screw your
courage to the sticking- place, And we’ll not fail.”

In conclusion, I
believe that in Macbeth’s wrong doings there is no free will involved and it is
all manipulation. Macbeth can’t bear the idea of the assassination but he does
it to prove his courage and masculinity. In addition, he also does it with the
reassurance of the witches that he will have a successful and long lasting
reign 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 for
something which all in all he was against doing and new was wrong doing. We
know how uncomfortable he feels as in the script it says “not bear the knife
myself” showing how off putting off the assassination is for him. The witches’
fate and manipulation throughout the tragedy is what causes Macbeth’s mind to
go out of control and imagine things that are not there. All in all I believe
that Macbeth is a great character and I believe that without the influence he
wouldn’t have assassinated Duncan. 

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