What influence do the witches' prophecies have on Macbeth's decisions to murder Duncan and to have Banquo and Macduff killed?

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The three witches initially prophesy that Macbeth will be named Thane of Cawdor and future King of Scotland in act 1, scene 3. After Ross informs Macbeth that King Duncan has given him the title Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth is astonished by the accuracy of the witches' prophecy. Macbeth's ambition takes over, and he immediately begins to contemplate murdering King Duncan in order to usurp the throne. The witches had also prophesied that Banquo's descendants would inherit the Scottish throne and rule for generations. After Macbeth assassinates the king, he desires to ensure his legacy and political authority by killing Banquo to prevent his descendants from ruling as kings. Macbeth proceeds to hire assassins to murder Banquo and Fleance. However, Fleance ends up surviving the attack, which aligns with the prophecy and causes Macbeth severe anxiety. When Macbeth visits the witches for the second time in act 4, scene 1, the first apparition warns Macbeth to beware Macduff . The apparition confirms...

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