Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How were the witches responsible for King Duncan's death in Macbeth?

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The role of the three witches is open to interpretation.  Do they actually control the future, do they predict the future, or do they merely make suggestions that Macbeth uses as an excuse to do his own evil?  Shakespeare leaves each of these possibilities open. 

If a reader were to believe that the witches actually control what happens, then the witches are responsible for the death of Duncan since the 3rd witch says, "All hail, Macbeth , that shall be king hereafter!"  This witch proclaims that Macbeth will be king.  The interpretation that allows for the witches to control the future would be supported...

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