Macbeth is all about evil and ambition. A central question of the play may be: how much power and influence did the witches have? Did the witches just see in Macbeth, a character flaw - boundless ambition - or did they make him ambitious with their powers? In Act 1, sc. 5, Lady Macbeth says, upon reading her husband's letter telling her about the Weird Sisters and their prophecy, that Macbeth is ambitious, but he lacks the necessary evil to allow his ambitions full reign. Lady Macbeth then, in Act 1, sc. 7, uses her influence to convince her husband to kill Duncan. She tells him that he's a coward and is unmanly if he doesn't do it. It seems that Lady Macbeth has far more power over her husband than the witches do. Later in the play, when Macbeth has Banquo killed, then he has Macduff's family killed, it seeems that it is Macbeth acting alone with no help from his wife or the witches. By Act 5, Macbeth is completely alone since his wife has gone mad and then kills herself. He is desperate, paranoid, and determined to fight to the end. Whether or not everything began with the witches' prophecies in Act 1, sc. 3, is unclear. Macbeth gives a startled response when he is hailed as "...King hereafter". Banquo says, "Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear / Things that do sound so fair?" Is it possible that Macbeth has thought about being king and to hear his innermost thoughts brought out by the Weird Sisters causes him to react? If so, then the evil nature already exists in Macbeth and the idea is all the witches plant in Macbeth. He acts on the idea and allows himself to be manipulated by his wife and by the witches. The idea that evil resides in people is a common one. In Lord of the Flies, Golding expresses this idea, adding that it is only the restrictions of society that keeps the evil in check in most people. Perhaps this is what is going on with Macbeth. He kept his evil ideas hidden until the witches brought his thoughts out into the open. That allowed the evil out and it grew.