How were important events used to highlight the idea of control or manipulation in Macbeth?

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dule05 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the witches tell Macbeth that he will be the king of Scotland, they awaken his secret ambition which drives him to commit various atrocious deeds, such as the assassination of king Duncan. In a way, the witches manipulate Macbeth into transforming himself into a cold-blooded murderer. Certainly, he is the one responsible for killing Duncan and others despite having been influenced by the witches' prophecy because he does have free will to decide what to do and what not to do.

Another instance of manipulation is seen when Lady Macbeth utilizes her persuasiveness to convince her husband to pursue his evil ambitions. When she hears that Duncan will be her guest, she sees this as a perfect opportunity for him to be eliminated so that Macbeth could take the throne. She immediately persuades her husband to act.

As the play progresses, scenes of manipulation and control become even more conspicuous. When Macbeth becomes the king, he uses methods of intimidation and manipulation to gain what he wants and to ensure his power and successful reign. Any opponent of his is bound to be eliminated. For example, this can be seen when Macbeth orders the assassination of Banquo and his son.

Although Macbeth becomes the one who resorts to control and manipulation, the play demonstrates that he is the one that is manipulated by the witches towards the end of the play. His naive trust in the witches influences his downfall, as he truly believes that "none of woman born shall harm" him.