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...
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