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The three witches,the weird sisters,are often blamed for planting the seed of treachery...

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jaanaa | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 22, 2011 at 1:59 AM via web

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The three witches,the weird sisters,are often blamed for planting the seed of treachery in macbeth's mind-yet the root of t5he word''wyrd'' goes back

The three witches,the weird sisters,are often blamed for planting the seed of treachery in macbeth's mind-yet the root of t5he word''wyrd'' goes back to the anglo saxon word for ''fate''.is macbeth a tragedy of destiny?substantiate with examples from ther play

 

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mahmood786 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 22, 2011 at 3:51 AM (Answer #1)

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Who is most to blame for the tragedy of Macbeth? The tragedy of Macbeth is he that he is being constantly transformed throughout the play; from a loyal and wise nobleman to the over-ambitious dead king he finished as. But who is to blame for Macbeths 'misfortune'? The major candidate is of course is Macbeth, that his tragedy was self-inflicted. The other major nominees are Lady Macbeth and the three witches or 'weird sisters' as they are referred to in the play. The witches are arguably the catalysts, at the beginning of the play, for what was to follow. They ignite the ambition, which was perhaps already burning within Macbeth. The first example of this is at the beginning of the play. Act1, scene3, lines 49-50. Banquo: Good sir, why do you start and seem to Fear things that do sound so fair? This shows that Macbeth is shocked.

"What is the significance of the three witches in Macbeth" I will say, that while to Shakespeare"tms audience, the witches would have seemed very concrete indeed, in psychological or "modern" terms, the witches, I believe, must signify an externalisation of his inner ambition and greed, the chink, if you will, in the armour of his character. The cyclical nature of the recurrent visions of evil may be emphasised by a major contrast throughout the play between light and darkness. That is not to say, however, that the typical beliefs regarding witches at the time are not both useful as a starting point and as a frame of reference. They exist to tempt and to torment people, to challenge their faith in themselves and their society. The witches thus make their appeal to Macbeth and Banquo's desire to control their own future, to direct it towards some desirable ends. The trio of witches"tm interactions with Macbeth play a vital role in his thinking about his own life, both before and after the murder of Duncan. weird sisters by noting:"Thrice the brindled cat hath mew'd" . Like Macbeth, he is strongly tempted, but he does not let his desires outweigh his moral caution: "But 'tis strange,And oftentimes to win us to our harmThe instruments of darkness tell us truths,Win us with honest trifles to betray'sIn deepest consequence" Macbeth cannot act on this awareness because his desires (kept alive by his active imagination and his wife's urging) constantly intrude upon his moral sensibility. Whether this is meant to echo the three hammer blows of fate or the three baths a day that was customary at the time, I don"tmt know. They are part of the natural world, there to seduce anyone who, like Macbeth, lets his imagination flirt with evil possibilities. It is entirely self-fulfilling, and Macbeth is the only one who could ever fulfil himself.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 20, 2012 at 2:14 AM (Answer #2)

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This question has already been answered on eNotes.  Here is a link for you:  http://www.enotes.com/macbeth/q-and-a/macbeth-tragedy-destiny-give-examples-from-play-270218

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