Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful manuscript and one of his most complex psychological studies.
Written in the sixteenth century, the play is creative and it reveals a great deal of historical background. In the scene, Macbeth is a brave Scottish general who believes in superstition and dreams of becoming the King of Scotland. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Lord Macbeth’s superstitious belief or his own wife’s ambitions motivated him to become King.
King Duncan, Witches and Lady Macbeth
The play starts amidst thunder and lightning, with three Witches at a meeting with Macbeth, who is the King’s kinsman. The King of Scotland, Duncan, is proud of Macbeth for defeating the allied forces of Norway and Ireland led by Thane of Cawdor and Macdonwald. In the scene, the three Witches address Macbeth as the, “Thane of Glamis,” and “Thane of Cawdor,” a forecast that he would become the King of Scotland thereafter. He is shocked by these prophesies. Consequently, Macbeth is conferred with a new designation: Thane of Cawdor. The first superstitious forecasting is therefore fulfilled which prompts him to start harboring ambitions to become the King of Scotland (Shakespeare 56).
King Duncan praises him for becoming the Thane of Cawdor and he decides to spend a night at Macbeth’s place. Before the King arrives at Macbeth castle, he informs his wife, Lady Macbeth, notifying her about the prophecies of the Witches. Lady Macbeth plays the biggest role of influencing her husband to achieve these superstitious prophecies. She wishes her husband to murder King Duncan so that he can obtain the kingship (William and Sylvan Barnet 69). Lady Macbeth and his husbands make strategies of how to get Duncan’s guards drunk so that they would be held accountable for the death of the King. They would not recall anything and therefore they would be defenseless of the accusation. Lady Macbeth succeeds motivating her husband and they successfully execute King Duncan. She informs him that he has, “sworn” to do the act and that he is ready for the “terrible feat” (Wagner 70). Despite his uncertainty and a number of supernatural warnings such as a hallucination of a blood-spattered dagger, he stubs Duncan to death. He is so afraid of his actions that Lady Macbeth supports him to continue.
Although the actions of Lady Macbeth and the efforts of the Witches influence him to become the King of Scotland, he does not achieve his permanent ambitions. He attains the kingship through killing people. Banquo was prophesied by the Witches, in front of Macbeth, that his own offspring would take over the throne (Shakespeare and Phillipps 12). Macbeth aware of this forecasting is uncomfortable and kills him, but misses the other target; Banquo son’s.
Macbeth visits the Witches again and they tell him to be aware of Macduff. He orders the killing of Macduff family since he could not be traced. Macduff is stricken with the death of his family and decide to form an army to attack King Macbeth. In the meantime, Lady Macbeth takes her life away; she is stricken with guilt from deaths that she and her husband committed. A battle culminates and the Macbeth forces are overwhelmed by Macduff army, bringing his kingship to the end. Witches and Lady Macbeth motivated Macbeth to become the King, but he losses everything at the end (Shakespeare and Braunmuller 42).
The Transcript of Macbeth shows how modern leader yearns for power and fights for it through corruption and killings. Since the manuscript was written, there have been numerous political and military fighting aiming at overthrowing the legitimate governments as well as fighting to control the whole world. The fighting results to death of citizens as well as destruction of properties. North Korean leader, Kim Jong II, is a good example of leaders who have gone corrupt with kingship (Eugene 150).
In conclusion, Witches and Lady Macbeth played an integral role to motivate Macbeth to take the power by force. They killed numerous people to achieve their ambition. For instance, they murdered King Duncan as well as any other person who was entangled within the superstitious prophecies as a threat to King Macbeth leadership.
Finally, his superstition beliefs and ambition failed him as his forces were overwhelmed by Macduff’s army.