Are the witches responsible for Macbeth's death?

Expert Answers
writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is one of the major questions that the play deals with, and it involves the idea of Fate and how Fate and Choice balance each other out. Given Macbeth's attitude at the beginning of the play - his position in the army, loyalty to Duncan, and hesitancy to commit murder - it is unlikely that Macbeth would have chosen to turn on Duncan without the prophecy from the witches, and without the immediate fulfillment of their first prophecy of becoming Thane of Cawdor. The witches also reveal when they are confronted by Hecate that they are purposely playing with Macbeth. However, it is quite a leap to blame the witches completely for the death of Macbeth. Macbeth very clearly chose to act in certain ways in order to create a fulfillment to the prophecies. Although what the witches predicted does happen, Macbeth's regicide and the subsequent murders that he arranges makes him personally responsible for the action Malcolm takes against him, and makes him the cause of his own death.

richa23 | Student

withes were not fully responsible for macbeth downfall.It was the outcome of macbeth own deeds.Somewhere within his heart he had the desire to become the king.This can be said as when witches first met macbeth and told him the prophecies then though banquo was unaffected with the prediction but on the other hand macbeth showed a stong desire to learn more by saying "stay you imperfect speakers".Also he was a witty washy type of a person.He comes under the influence of anyone and especially his own wife who questioned on manhood.Thus  the witches played a major role in his death but technically they are not responsible.

libz5 | Student

it was not the witches fault as macbeth could have ignored the witches and instead waited for the prophesy to come true but he was impatient and instead went in fro the kill. this lead to macbeth feeling guilty and him killig many more people and children. in the end macbeth dies due to his own decisions

daisy93 | Student

Macbeth is responsible for his own death. He could of ignored the witched predictions but chose not to. He let Lady Macbeth quetion his manhood while he was king and while he had the power to shut her up. He got cocky and blood thirsty and his only concern was keeping the power he gained at all cost because of their predictions. The witches played a major role in his death but technically they are not responsible.