Comment on Macbeth's confidence and how it eventually destroys him.I am a grade 8th student and have my exams day after tommorow I need the answers immidiately. Please tell me answer if anyone...

Comment on Macbeth's confidence and how it eventually destroys him.

I am a grade 8th student and have my exams day after tommorow I need the answers immidiately. Please tell me answer if anyone knows.

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karaejacobi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth's confidence in the witches' predictions leads him to his downfall. When he first hears them hail him as "King hereafter," he begins to think about killing King Duncan to take his place as monarch immediately. He follows through with the plan and is crowned King of Scotland. Macbeth feels paranoid, though, because the witches also told his friend Banquo that he would be the father of kings. Macbeth thinks it is necessary to kill Banquo and his son to stop that prophecy from coming true. He is desperate to hold on to his power.

Macbeth's confidence reaches new heights in Act IV when he goes to ask the witches for more information. Three apparitions reveal cryptic messages for him: first, beware Macduff; second, Macbeth cannot be killed by a man born of woman; third, he will be king until the forest marches up to his castle on the hill.

Macbeth admits that he is concerned about Macduff and sends murderers to Macduff's castle to kill everyone in the household (except Macduff, who is in England with Malcolm, the rightful heir to the Scottish throne, as they plan their attack on Macbeth). The other two apparitions make Macbeth feel invincible. He thinks that it's not possible for a man to not be born of woman, nor is it possible for trees to get up and march. Macbeth, however, has taken the prophecies too literally. He doesn't prepare for the coming attack from England led by Malcolm and Macduff because he thinks nothing can oust him from his position. However, we learn that Macduff was "untimely ripped" from his mother's body, since his mother died before giving birth to him in the usual manner—so he was not born of woman. When Malcolm's soldiers approach the castle, they camouflage themselves with tree branches, which gives the appearance of trees marching up the hill. The prophecies all come true, and Macduff is the one who kills Macbeth and restores Malcolm to his rightful place.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the three weird sisters (witches) predict he will become Thane of Cawdor, and King Duncan rewards him with that title shortly afterward, Macbeth's confidence in the witches is greatly boosted. However, rather than waiting to see if events will unfold to make him king, Macbeth is so confident that he is meant to rule that he takes matters into his own hands and murders Duncan.

Macbeth, in fact, puts far too much confidence in what the witches have to say. They do not have his best interests at heart. When Hecate, the head witch, comes on the scene late in the play, she directs the three witches to deliberately mislead Macbeth by giving him the false confidence that he cannot be defeated. Hecate feels Macbeth does nothing for the witches, and she therefore wants to see Macbeth destroyed. And, partially because he trusts too much in the witches, he is.

writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

kc4u | Student

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.