Comment on Macbeth's confidence and how it eventually destroys him.
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Macbeth puts his complete confidence in the witches prophecies, or more specifically in his interpretation of the witches prophecies. When the tell him that he can only be killed by a man NOT born of a woman, he thinks that he is safe from death. The prophecy about the woods coming to Dunsinane also seems impossible to him, which adds to his arrogance and pride about surviving the coming battle. The problem is that in his haste to ensure his victory, he enraged the one person that he was told to beware of. Trying to beat fate, Macbeth has Macduff's family killed (he tried to have Macduff killed as well). When Macduff learns of his family's murder, he sets himself on avenging them. Macduff's anger combined with Macbeth's arrogance give Macduff the foothold he needs to kill Macbeth, thus fulfilling all the witches prophecies.
In spite of his 'vaulting ambition', Macbeth was in a doubtful, self-divided state when the witches first met him on the heath & made their proclamations in act1 sc.3. But ever since the murder of Duncan, as Macbeth usurps the kingship of Scotland, he suffers from fears--both imaginary & real--and unleashes a reign of terror to subdue & silence all opponents. In the scene of his coronation banquet in act3 sc.4, Banquo's ghost appears to terrify and expose Macbeth. It is in this scene that he decides to meet the witches to know more about his future, thus becoming a willing prey to the hunting evil.
The witches show Macbeth three apparitions which equivocate to his ultimate undoing. They inject in him a false sense of security & confidence to misguide his terrorised self to death & destruction. The First Apparition, 'an armed head' warns him of Macduff whose loyalty is already highly suspect to Macbeth. The Second Apparition, 'a bloody child', offers him a deceptive advice along with a dubious prophecy couched in paradoxical language:
" Be bloody, bold and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth".
Without caring to look into the prophecy, Macbeth finds this message very satisfying as a verdict of his safety, if not immortality. The Third Apparition, 'a Child crowned', further asks Macbeth to be cruel, proud and absolutely careless:
" Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him".
Macbeth again fails to see through the language trap of the witches and their queen.
Mistakenly believing himself all safe and powerful, Macbeth now goes down to defeat and death, deserted by all including Lady Macbeth, virtually confined to the Dunsinane castle & waiting for the nemesis through a tragic realisation of the futility and deception of human ambition & desires.
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