The Wierd Sisters in Macbeth
The battle between good and evil has been waged for thousands of years. Evil has always tried to find some way to corrupt the good. In the play Macbeth, that is exactly what happens. In this battle for Macbeth’s soul, the witches had to first gain his trust. The predictions were the tools for doing so. The apparitions were cleverly shrouded in deceit. The apparitions brought about Macbeth’s downfall.
Evil has always longed to destroy a good soul and make it one more loss for Nazareth. But before it can do that, the good have to believe in evil. This is why the witches gave Macbeth their predictions. In normal circumstances, Macbeth would have ignored them. So the witches called him by his name and his current title just to catch his attention. They knew who he was and he didn’t know who they were. This made them mysterious and it appealed to his superstitious and imaginative nature. Macbeth drew closer. Then the witches called him Thane of Cawdor. This prediction was to gain Macbeth’s faith for, soon after, Ross came by and gave him his title of Thane of Cawdor. Then, to set the first part of their plan in motion, they called him king. Macbeth appeared very perturbed at the mention of this because the only way he could be king would be if Duncan died. To think of such blasphemy was punishable by death. So he held his peace. Then, Ross came by and delivered the good news. Now the witches had Macbeth’s trust.
The important thing to realize is that the witches had very carefully planned out their actions. The witches knew Macbeth was ambitious and they played on it. They guessed that Macbeth would not be able to resist telling his wife about their predictions. The witches knew Lady Macbeth was ambitious for herself and for her husband, whom she loved very much. They also knew that she was aware of her husband’s weaknesses and would drive him to kill Duncan. Between the wierd sisters and Lady Macbeth, Macbeth really had no chance. So he killed Duncan, and was crowned king. All three predictions had come true. All three predictions benefitted Macbeth. Now the witches had his absolute faith and trust. He didn’t believe they would hurt him. Soon, he would find out otherwise.
Since gaining the throne, Macbeth had been extremely insecure. He had killed the king, and now anyone could kill him. Macbeth had his best friend, Banquo, murdered in cold blood to prevent his heirs from taking the crown. Even this didn’t appease. Therefore, he was driven back to the witches for counsel, just as they planned. He felt they wouldn’t hurt him because their previous three predictions had all been good. It was this blind faith that got him in trouble. The witches used his faith against him. They showed him apparitions, cleverly shrouded in deceit, that appeared to make him invincible. Unfortunately, one would have had to read a lot deeper into them to see a more sinister implication. This, Macbeth didn’t do. After all, a forest can’t get up and walk. And all men are born of women. Woe for Macbeth. He played right into the witches’ hands. Armed with this overconfidence, he rode out onto the battlefield to face the English army. There, he met Macduff who was born of a woman by a c-section. Foolishly, till the last minute, he held on to the apparitions to keep him safe. Even in despair, he wouldn’t let go. This is the point where he lost his soul to the devil. Even in death, he wouldn’t die with pride.
There is another aspect to this story. The witches aren’t entirely to blame. Macbeth always had a choice. He could have decided against killing the king. But he didn’t. He was too weak to resist his ambition, and his wife. But without the witches, this story might never have happened. They used the ambition and evil inside Macbeth to destroy him.