Are the witches responsible for Macbeth's actions? In Macbeth are the witches instigators of Macbeth's actions, or do they merely report what's destined to be?

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The witches did nothing but stir up what was already there.  Look at how quickly Macbeth and Lady Macbeth latched onto those prophecies.  If Macbeth had been like Banquo, and had been suspicious of them, it would have gone no further.

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Whether or not they report whats' "destined to be" depends on whether or not you believe the witches have that power in the play. I tend to think they do because of their prediction that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" and the idea that Birnham Wood will come Dunsiname. Both of these come true, and they are not events based on the manipulation of Macbeth's ambition. So, no, I do believe the witches caused what happened to Macbeth.

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They are the instigators.  They do not cause Macbeth to do the things he does, but they help to put the ideas in his mind.  There is not destiny involved.  It is Macbeth who is actively choosing to do what he does.  The witches suggest it to him, but he is the one who chooses to act.

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