Macbeth is responsible for his own death. The direct agent of his demise is Macduff, but it is entirely Macbeth’s fault that Macduff hates him so bitterly. Many commentators follow Macbeth himself in placing at least some blame upon the witches, but Macbeth continually goes beyond the advice of the witches in his ambition and, towards the end of the play, his tyranny.
His treatment of Macduff is an excellent example of this. The apparition conjured up by the witches tells Macbeth to “Beware Macduff.” Nobody tells him to murder Macduff’s wife and children. This is a decision Macbeth takes on his own account, and it is this that leads Macduff to swear vengeance against him.
The witches tell Macbeth that he will be king. They do not tell him to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth certainly does tell him to kill Duncan but only after Macbeth has already resolved:
The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
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