Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth Characters

Shakespeare: Macbeth

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In the play Macbeth the characters are using certain prophesies to try and help
themselves in gaining confidence and self-assurance in achieving their ultimate
goals. This is especially true in the character of Macbeth. He believes that
throughout this story he is able to control his destiny and also change things
he can not. He thinks that the actions he takes and the decisions that he makes
will allow him to control the future and further himself. In the beginning of
this play, Macbeth is encountered by three witches, which give him the news of
him becoming the king. He does not allow this to get to him initially but when
their prophesy of him becoming the Thane of Cawdor comes true, he takes their
other words a lot more seriously. He then puts into action the killing of King
Duncan. By this move, he is able to take the throne. This finalizes the witches
initial prediction of Macbeth becoming the king. His rule of Scotland is very
tumultuous and questions arise of his ability of being able to rule properly and
his previous actions. He then murders his friend Banquo and then again consults
the witches. They provide him with three more prophesies. One to beware of
Macduff, one that he cannot be killed by any man born of woman, and the final
saying he canít be killed until Birnam Wood moves. Delighted by this news,
Macbeth is filled with more false hopes and confidence. But inevitably his
belief and trust in his ability to know the future and be filled with such
confidence catches up to him. He is overwhelmed by all the true prophesies given
by the witches and his eventual overthrow by Macduff. The story of Macbeth is
basically a story of one manís attempts to control the future. Macbeth uses
all his abilities and all his resources to try and accomplish this, but in the
end it fails him. He bases all of his actions on his knowledge of the future and
his attempts to change it. The whole story is based around the idea of his
knowledge of what is to happen, and his attempts to change that towards his own
benefit. It provides him with the false hopes that were an eventual contributor
to his downfall.
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