Macbeth by Shakespeare Analysis Essay Example
Macbeth by Shakespeare Analysis Essay Example

Macbeth by Shakespeare Analysis Essay Example

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  • Pages: 9 (2229 words)
  • Published: January 19, 2022
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The play “Macbeth “by Shakespeare has its context set in the Jacobean era. Magic and witchcraft were part of life and had a significant influence on people behaviors during the Jacobean era (Clark 441). People did not only fear the spirits during the era but were also highly religious. Macbeth was written during the Jacobean era showing the thinking of Shakespeare play which was inspired by the concurring real life events of the era. People during this time viewed witches as a threat that caused evil within societies and valued witch trial. Shakespeare’s design of witch characters was inspired by James I's book of daemonolgue in which he describes the elements of witchcraft. The powers of three witches in Macbeth become evident when most of the things they predict can turn true. They all predict that Macbeth will be a r


uler long before Macbeth fulfills the prophecy. By the use of their tainting mysticism, the supernatural capabilities of their mischievous foresight, and the times preconceived misdemeanor as witches being real embodiments of evil within the society; the three witches are seen to be the main culprits behind the corruption of the characters within Macbeth.

The predictions of the three witches motivate Macbeth towards becoming King using murder (Birch and Katy 429). He becomes aggressive to the extent of committing evil to become king. He kills his cousin with the belief that the destiny was already planned long ago. His ambition is fulfilled by committing evil. The witches manage to influence his thinking and to make him feel more powerful that he is which the source of his bravery becomes. He feels and thinks of himself as

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a hero that is destined for greatness. He thinks of himself as a hero that should be king to fulfill the prophecies of the witches. He develops a desire to achieve it to the extent that he overlooks the existing moral standards set by the society. It was immoral to kill and to oppose leaders without proper justification. The three witches use magic, and their mysterious powers persuade Macbeth that he was to be the king land.

Witches during the Renaissance period had great influence on decision making and social organization in the society. People believed they had the power to use their powers to manipulate nature. The three witches in Macbeth understand the effect they have and the unquestionable authority witches have earned through the ages. They clearly understand their impact on the lives of individuals that are highly superstitious and religious. The witches in the case of Macbeth lead to the development of desires he later claims “ dark and deep.” Such desires have the ability to shape the decisions of an individual. Deep desires lead to a decline in rationality and an increased urge to act. The Witches understand his intentions after creating the deep desires in him. They can stop him from performing making wrong decisions, considering the influence they have over society members. Macbeth follows the prophecy of the witches hoping that no one will come to learn of his dark and deep desires.

Macbeth reflection shows that his intentions are a result of the influence of the witches. Shakespeare writes;
"I have no spur to stimulate my guilty intention except ambition -- ambition which is like a too eager rider, who in

vaulting into the saddle o'erleaps himself and falls on the other side of the horse" (Shakespeare Act 1).

The guilt that Macbeth develops shows that he is good but is only influenced by external forces in making his decisions. Macbeth is a good and law abiding citizen without the influence of the witches. He is a law abiding citizen with a likable personality without the actions of the witches. He, however, has no control over prophecy of the witches. He is helpless in his mission to fulfill the prophecy of the witches. In this case, the witches are seen to have manipulated the true character of Macbeth that is desirable with the use of charms and their convincing abilities. The ambition that Macbeth develops is abnormal and in the normal case unnecessary. Very few people in society are likely to gather the confidence to do such moral wrongs that will bring guilt without conviction from influential members. Mac develops a lot of worries before he can kill Duncan which shows the challenges he faces in trying to avoid doing wrong to others for his personal gains.
Characters in the Macbeth play understand and are suspicious of the powers the three witches have. They refer to the three witches as weird sisters signaling the attitude and perception they hold relating to the witches. They are deviants in a society where evil is undesirable. The witches value evil more than they value goodness and peace in the society. They understand the negative consequences associated with the motivation that can cause harm to others and have a spiritual and supernatural calling influence evil events without regrets. Their looks is scary

which portends and is associated with evil attributes. Banquo and Macbeth are surprised when they first meet the witches;

“What are these
So withered and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' th' Earth,
And yet are on 't?—Live you? Or are you aught
That man may question?” ( Shakespeare 1.3.40-44).

Their attires were scary and threatening as a symbol of their unlikable characters. They did not appear like other individuals that live on the earth. They have supernatural powers that make them appear act evil. Bizarre looks, potions, and gestures characterize the witches and make them appear both ridiculous and supernatural. Their words appeared to be comical like beautiful and amazing nursery rhymes. Shakespeare uses this language as a way of bringing the musical nature in his literature. The witches at times used similar rhymes to signify their similar understanding and perspective about life. They had similar prophecies that were accurate perhaps to show their reliance on supernatural powers that acted as their informants. For instance, they all prophesied the fate of Macbeth ending up as a king. Other character wonders whether they are the sources of evil or are simply agents of spirits that are beyond the comprehension and understanding of human beings. It, however, remains evident that they have personalities that are more inclined to perform evil. They do not advocate for doing good in the society. It is easier for instance for viewers from their scary appearance to consider them agents of doom in the society.

The three witches represent dark thoughts and the temptation to do evil in the society. Shakespeare uses them wisely to represent dark forces that human beings have

little or no control over. Scholars can easily compare the three witches with evil characters from the Greek mythology who laws had the intention to commit evil. They are a sign of the dark side of the society showing that the evil people in the society have the capacity to influence others. The three witches despite their few numbers and suspicious appearance can influence Macbeth like they influence other people in the society. They show that positive promises are likely to generate action from the individual regardless of the consequences. The witches make Macbeth develop selfishness which most members of the society are likely to consider not necessary. They are ready and always willing to pass negative messages from the spirits and thus act as agents of the evil spirits in the normal world. They reveal prophecies that seem to be self-fulfilling and evil in nature. The witches wish and have the interest to manipulate the future, by instructing Macbeth to murder to rule the land which can then justify their powers. Their desires are an act of wickedness which other people have to analyze critically to see.

Witches always do not mean anything good for the human life, in fact, they like it when human suffer due to the miseries they cause to the. This is much seen in the case where Macbeth goes back to them for the clarification of the much sufferings that befalls him. Instead of providing a solution, they tell him about his fall which is a demonstration that the witches are not able to solve his problems. It is for this reason why it is prudent to conclude that they

are the engineers of human suffering. And they are the devils in the physical form living with other individuals in the society. The three witches are evidently avoided by other people who fear their appearance and powers. People in the society consider powers that the witches hold to be the cause of bad omen and failure.

Witches are likely to deceive the general public using their powers which act as a source of influence upon their subjects. The people who seek their services easily believe that their magic is unquestionable and reliable. As such, people are unlikely to question the witches about the sources of their powers and their intentions when giving out their prophecies. Macbeth does not question the sources of the Witches’ powers. Questioning such powers could easily have changed his destiny. It could also have averted and stopped the death from occurring. Besides, Macbeth had the opportunity to use other means to become king if the spirits had decided. Witches clearly use lies to shape the destiny of people in the society. They have no role in advising people since they simply act as agents and cannot control the fate of individuals like the supernatural spirits that people fear and respect in equal measure. It is for this reason that King James gave a decree to burn all the witches so as to liberate the society from their manipulation.

The witches in the play an important role in deciding who the leaders of the society are alike in many societies. Leaders consult the spirits to take get to the throne or take more time leading other people. The witches, therefore, made it easy for

Macbeth to believe his destiny to become king. Witches and their powers have an invincible hand with which they aid kings and leaders in making decisions. They advise kings and give prophecies of how rulers manage to rule their people. The burning of witches acts as a sign to scare evil spirits away. It is a sign among many societies like in the case of the decree by James to create a peaceful and orderly society where people can live harmoniously together. Witches hold and take control of the people they think are highly vulnerable to their tricks. Whereas the powers of the witches are limited, they make their powers appear extraordinary and the advice they give therefore tend to be divine.

The witches, being so powerful and feared by people in the society, easily manipulated Macbeth to have the desire to overthrow the king and take his position. Macbeth betrayed the King he once had developed good a good relationship with. Evil spirits through the witches have a hand in the betrayal and the creation of disguised enmity between the King and Macbeth. Macbeth cares less for the existing kinship ties with the king who is his cousin.

Lady Macbeth also invokes evil spirits to and considers it right to kill for self-interest. Her regrets is a sign that she was motivated by evil spirits to perform evil deeds. She, for instance, supports the idea of killing the king for Macbeth to rule by taking over the throne .guilt and consciousness are themes that the play brings out in the characters that are victims of evil. Macbeth ends up not enjoying the fruits of his ambition

due to the guilt of his previous evil deeds. Human conscious is weak and is very easily torn down by any guilt due to its fragility. Lady Macbeth at the end decides to take her life after an extended period of depression. Macbeth, on the other hand, experiences the same guilt but swears not to take his life.

The play also presents the fact that manipulation is a major driving force for a person to do evil in the society. The role witches played in the society remained a questionable subject during the period of Shakespeare. It was for this reason why he designs the play to show the evil nature of the witches. Witches were a threat to peace, and a force behind many misdoings as Shakespeare expresses through his writing. They demanded universal attention and unquestionable respect on they said in the society. Dark spirits and evil forces can easily cause destruction and compel individuals to commit wrongs in the society. Evil power and wishes by the Witches in Macbeth are clearly the cause of his misdoings. With his ambitions of being the most powerful man in the in the kingdom, he finds himself in the midst of three witches who reveals to him that his destiny is to be a king, and not just a great worrier. Having been inspired by the three witches, he develops a strong desire develops and becomes abnormally ambitious to see the prophecy come true

Works Cited

  1. Birch, Dinah, and Katy Hooper. The concise Oxford companion to English literature. Oxford University Press, 2012
  2. Clark, Stuart. Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe. Oxford: Clarendon, 1997. Print.
  3. Shakespeare,

William, and Kenneth Muir. Macbeth. London: Arden Shakespeare/Thomson Learning, 2006. Print.

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