When Macbeth firstmeets the Witches (I. iii. ) – seemingly by accident – theycall him titles which have not yet been bestowed uponhim. It is unclear whether the Witches plant the idea ofearning these titles by foul play to Macbeth’s head, orwhether it is a prophecy of future. Either way, theirwords eventually become reality.
The further encounters with the Weyward Sisters andHecate strengthens the idea of a preset destiny. Thethree apparitions summoned by the witches (IV. i. ) and theprophecies that go together with them are all visions ofthe future.
Unfortunaly for Macbeth he manages to readthese manifestations of his destiny all wrong. Another important ‘fatal’ element for Macbeth isLady Macbeth. She is also heavily manipulating Macbeth(II. ii.
), although she does not have the supernaturalqualities of the Witches. She is clearly a woman drivenby an infinite lust for power. However, the only way forher to fulfill her personal agenda is through herhusband, Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s character can be easilyinterpreted as a manifestation of the darker side of thehuman mind, an instrument between Macbeth and therealization of his inevitable destiny. 3. Free Will DiminishedWhen Macbeth has become King and felt power, hedoesn’t want to give it up.
At first he wasn’t at peacebecause he wanted the throne, but hesitated to carry outthe murder. Now that he has the throne, he loses hispeace with the prospect of losing the crown. His onlychoice now is to kill Banquo and Fleance. He is trying towork against prophecy – the third apparition – somethinghe never learns not to do.
While Macbeth carries out his dark deeds, he becomesa somewhat different person; he no longer possessescontrol over his destiny. His head becomes filled withimages of murder, ghosts and other signs of a disturbedmind. The vision of the dagger (II. i. ) is the earliestexample of the duality and unstability of his character. Macbeth’s mind is contemplating the murder of Duncan, buthe clearly hasn’t come to terms with it.
After he has carried out the murder, Macbeth is ableto keep a mask of innocence. When he has the doubtfulBanquo murdered, and his ghost appears to haunt him(III. iv. ), the frailty of his sanity is revealed to thewhole court. This may be regarded as a culmination point;either of his insanity, or the supernatural elements ofthe play.
Once again, whether Macbeth’s sanity is failingor his vision is a ‘real’ ghost, it makes no difference:He has lost control over his actions and reactions. 4. ConclusionMacbeth’s inevitable progress is the result ofmultiple separate factors. First, we see the Witchesgiving the spark to his hidden fantasies of power.
Next,the femme fatale, Lady Macbeth manipulates him further.This is enough to make him commit murder