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How does each prophecy encourage a sense of false security in Macbeth? My question is...

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chrik | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 25, 2007 at 3:17 AM via web

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How does each prophecy encourage a sense of false security in Macbeth?

My question is about when Macbeth went to the witches the second time and was told three false prophecies , i would like to know how they encourage a sense of false security in Macbeth.
Act 4 scene 1

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chafer | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 27, 2007 at 3:17 AM (Answer #1)

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As each prophecy passes and ultimately comes true, Macbeth is bolstered by his sense of immortality. No man born of woman can harm Macbeth and no harm will come until Birnam Woods marches to Dunsinane (seemingly impossible things) all give Macbeth the feeling that reality will never come, that he is indestructable and omnipotent. He chooses to ignore the prophecy of "Beware Macduff."

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sampu88 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 17, 2007 at 6:14 AM (Answer #2)

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Two specific prophecies made by the three witches instill a sense of false security and over confidence in Macbeth making him feel that he was above fear and grace and Fate itself could be challenged and defeated.
1) The apparition produced by the three witches, in the form of a bloody child, that tells Macbeth he need not fear anyone 'of woman'born'. Macbeth having takin this prediction in the literal sense, realised it was impossible for a person to be born of anything other than a woman. Had he not taken it practically and seen it in a broader light, he would have been more alert. Macduff was born of the Ceasarian cut. The apparition was reffering to Macduff in the prophecy.

2) The apparition produced by the witches in the form of a crowned child carrying a tree in his hand, tells Macbeth that he would be deafeted only when Birnam wood itself marches over physically to Dunsinane. Again, taken in the practical sense, this feat was impossible to accomplish.

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