In Shakespeare?s tragic play Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth transforms from a loyal warrior at battle to a power-hungry individual which eventually triggers his own downfall. In the first Act, Macbeth and Banquo, his companion, meet three witches who come with a prophecy which strikes Macbeth?s social interests. Then, Macbeth writes a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth, who acts upon the prophecy by deliberately planning the murder of the king, Duncan in order for her husband to replace such a position. However, Macbeth does not wish to commit such a savage action until, Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth that the outcome would be beneficial. After this chain of events, Macbeth viciously kills any individual who would only be an obstacle in his path of power and prestige.
The three witches play a significant role in stimulating Macbeth?s ambition, which is the driving force throughout the play. Macbeth?s downfall is not only caused by his own thoughts as well as actions, but largely by the influences of the three witches. Although he takes the action that leads to his downfall, he perhaps would not have killed Duncan if the witches had not told him that he would be king. The first witch says the following: ?All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!? Then, the second: ?All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!? Lastly, the third witch says: All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!? (I, iii, 50-53) These words cause Macbeth to become curious which directly causes him to want more information. He expresses such feelings by saying:
?Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Sinel\'s death I know I am thane of Glamis;
But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman; and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence? or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you.? (I, iii, 73-80)
Additionally, Lady Macbeth effects Macbeth\'s actions by pushing him towards the murder. Initially, Macbeth was unsure of what he wanted to do. He stated that if he was meant to become king, it would happen naturally. Lady Macbeth caused him to change his mind and planned the murder of King Duncan. An example of her demeanor towards the idea of murdering Duncan would be the following:
?O, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under\'t. He that\'s coming
Must be provided for: and you shall put
This night\'s great business into my dispatch;
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom. (I, v, 62-71)
Also, when Macbeth questions the idea of killing Duncan without others knowing that he has done such a horrendous crime, Lady Macbeth answers by saying:
We fail!
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we\'ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep--
Whereto the rather shall his day\'s hard journey
Soundly invite him--his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassail so convince
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell? (I, vii, 61-72)
This quote is one of the most important quotes in Act I. Macbeth was an individual capable of differentiating between the good and evil, until Lady Macbeth comes into play. The conflict boils internally, and seems as if the powers of evil were catalyzed only when Lady Macbeth enters, simply to manipulate Macbeth and plant the idea of lust for power and status.
Additionally, the three witches continue to successfully create chaos which is their nature. The weird sisters are the followers of the evil goddess, Hecate, and together they caused Macbeth\'s destruction. The witches poison Macbeth\'s mind with the prophecies which emphasize his greedy characteristics which have been previously tamed. Soon, Macbeth plans to murder Banquo and Fleance by hiring three murderers since the witches claimed that Banquo\'s descendants would also become king. However, they only Banquo dies while Fleance manages to escape. Then,