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Macbeth, once a noble and courageous warrior is transformed into an egotistical and ruthless tyrant. In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth encounters a transformation which brings him the crown, as well as his death. However, this transformation reached the point it did because three motivational factors. Throughout the tragedy the Three Witches (along with the prophecy), Macbeth’s himself, and Lady Macbeth were motivational factors that manipulated Macbeth into committing murder and treason. Although it is Macbeth who is at blame for his actions, it is these three motivational factors that caused him to complete those actions. If it were not for these people, Macbeth might have taken a different path and could have continued to be the gracious and admirable warrior that he once was.
The Three Witches were a major influencing factor in Macbeth’s demise. The Three Witches were the birth of Macbeth’s transformation. They were the ones who told Macbeth the prophecy; the prophecy that seemed to have sparked Macbeth’s evil wrath, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!/ All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!/ All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.51-53). After receiving this prophecy, Macbeth starts to transform into an evil man who will not let anything stand in his way. In addition, the Three Witches use the apparitions to motivate Macbeth. They fool Macbeth and lead him to believe that he should not worry. In conclusion, it was the Three Witches who started the whole ordeal and continued to provoke Macbeth into committing such barbaric murders. However, they were not the only ones involved in Macbeth’s transformation.
Although the Three Witches played a part in Macbeth’s transformation, it was Macbeth himself who kept reassuring himself. Macbeth took the prophecies that he received and turned them into his own personal reassurance:
Bring me no more reports. Let them fly all./ Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane/ I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?/ Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know/ All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:/ ‘Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman/ Shall e’er have power upon thee’… (5.3.1-7).
Macbeth would develop a false sense of security, which lead him to believe that he was invulnerable. He would act as if his throne could not be threatened and that he had nothing to worry about, when however he was under great danger of being backstabbed by his once loyal friends. Furthermore, Macbeth creates a false sense of mind and forces himself to believe that the words of the Three Witches are true. Macbeth’s incorrect conclusions formed from the apparitions and his own interpretation of the prophecy, lead to his ruin.
Macbeth’s greatest cause of his destruction was the one he held dearest to him, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth’s manhood in an attempt to manipulate him into doing things that she wants. For instance, when Macbeth is questioning whether or not he should murder Duncan, Lady Macbeth fools Macbeth into thinking about how any real man would commit the murder:
What beast was ‘t/ then,/ that made you break this enterprise to me?/ When you durst do it, then you were a man;/ And to be more than what you were, you would/ Be so much more the man (1.7.53-58).
This occurs in the play numerous times and it is a very affective motivator for his transformation. Lady Macbeth is very ruthless when it comes to accomplishing what she desires and that is obvious because of how she deceives Macbeth. Secondly, Lady Macbeth exploits Macbeth’s ambition and ego. She asks if Macbeth really desires what he spoke about earlier. In addition, Macbeth’s weak mind is exposed and that results in him performing the many murders. If it were not for Lady Macbeth’s mercilessness, then Macbeth might have become a valorous and magnificent warrior.
As the drama of Macbeth progresses, the reader witnesses a metamorphosis take place with Macbeth. He transforms from a valiant warrior into a corrupt murderer. Even though it was Macbeth who carried out the crimes, they were the thoughts of other people. The Three Witches and Lady Macbeth influenced Macbeth. Macbeth was a loyal man who had a conscience but was made into a cold-hearted killer. The Three Witches were miserable women who desired the death and ruin of Macbeth. Moreover, Macbeth’s ambition and greed propelled him to destroy anyone who stood in the way of his success. Lastly, Lady Macbeth was a selfish woman who played Macbeth for a fool and used him to gain her fancies. The Three Witches, Macbeth’s own unchecked ambition and Lady Macbeth were the motivational factors which ultimately lead to the doom and destruction of Macbeth.