Wrong Path
ELA 11 20.1


December 19, 2003


Although man is been given freedom of choice, it must be took into consideration that it can be influenced by outside factors. However, despite these outside forces, each individual is responsible for his own actions. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth certainly commits many evil crimes, but not without help from the influence of others.


Lady Macbeth is, without a doubt, one of these outside factors. Lady Macbeth calls on the evil spirits to “ come…[and] unsex [her]… and fill [her]… of direst cruelty,”(I.v.40-43) so that she can convince her husband to do this evil deed because her feminine nature won’t allow her to do it. This can justify that Lady Macbeth is responsible for the fate of her and Macbeth, because she is calling on evil to do evil and blinding her of the possible realities of their actions. Also Macbeth statements also justify that Lady Macbeth is one of the causes for he said that “ If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir”(I.iii.154-156) meaning that he will not take action into killing Duncan because the two prophecies have come true without action so why should he take action. Macbeth then comes to the conclusion that “[they] will proceed no further in this business,”(I.vii.33) this again proves that Macbeth means not to kill Duncan. For Macbeth knows that if they were to commit this crime it may, “return to plague the inventor”(I.vii.9-10) meaning that one way or another this is going to come back to haunt him. However these statements of Macbeth’ s do not change Lady Macbeth’ s mind, because she is hungry for power and will stop at nothing to get it. She would rather “ Dash’d the brains out [of her baby],”(I.vii.63) than to have this opportunity of power slip through their hands when it could so easily be accomplished. This of course shocks Macbeth for he cannot believe what he has heard and ultimately convinces him. Moreover Lady Macbeth says, after they killed Duncan, “[that] a little water clears us of this deed”(II.ii.71) this show that she believes, that what they have done can simply be washed off with water when really it can’t for killing the king was ungodly and “unnatural”(II.iv.11) and not even “Neptune’s ocean [could] wash this blood clean.”(II.ii.64-7) Though Lady Macbeth’ s ultimately lead Macbeth to committing the evil murder of Duncan, her urgings were not only the outside factors, the Weird Sisters and Duncan, himself, were also.


The Weird Sisters first prophecies made Macbeth believe in what was impossible and therefore showed him down a path of evil. If they were to just let fate happen Macbeth may have become King and would not of had to go through pain, suffering and loss his essence, and wife because the evil inside and around Macbeth, ultimately destroyed him and all those around him. The Sisters also seem to have an influencing effect on Macbeth for he says that he will go to “ the Weird Sisters…[And] more shall they speak”(III.iv.133-4). Also, the revealing of the second set of prophecies made Macbeth arrogance let his guard down because. Macbeth upon hearing “ [that] none of women born shall harm [him],”(IV.i.87-8) believes that everybody was born of a woman because if they are not then they are not human and therefore he feels invincible. Also the sisters showing the prophecy that “ Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him,”(IV.i.101-3) also made Macbeth feel boastful because Macbeth thought it would take years for Birnam to reach Dunsinane and did not think deep enough into this, since the rest all seemed to have bad luck attached to them. However, King Duncan also played a part in the downfall of Macbeth, even though he may have not meant to. Duncan’s naming of Malcolm to heir worried Macbeth because he was unsure about being able to become king when Malcolm is to be. “ That is a step on which I must fall down… for in my way it lies,” (I.iv.55-7) Macbeth before was just going to let fate decide him be king, but now Duncan has placed an obstacle in his way and was unsure if he