Almost every character in this play wants something. The most ambitious characters are, in order of appearance, the witches, Macbeth, Malcolm, and Lady Macbeth.
The witches are the ones who make the prophecies and share them with Macbeth. They are highly ambitious, because they decide to alter the course of the entire kingdom by getting inside Macbeth’s head and making him their puppet. The plan is a complex one, involving prophecies for Macbeth related to his becoming king that will spur him into action. Before the witches get involved, Macbeth is by all accounts a perfectly brave and honorable solider.
The witches tell Macbeth three prophecies. The first two relate directly to him. (First, they refer to him by his current title.)
All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!
All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!
All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter! (Act 1, Scene 3)
The third prophecy relates to Banquo ,...
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