Macbeth: Impact of Individual Choices

Essay by honda_riderHigh School, 11th gradeA-, January 2005

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Shakespeare organized the play Macbeth using characters that made specific choices. The characters' individual choices affected the outcome of the whole play. The decisions made by one character can influence another character's, which, in turn, causes things to change. The play Macbeth is a tragedy, therefore, there must be many bad choices made by the characters to cause such terrible things like death to happen to them and others in the play. The characters' choices are what create everything that happens in the play, whether they are good or bad.

The play begins with the end of the war in Scotland. Macbeth has become a hero of war for defeating "The merciless Macdonwald". The former Thane of Cawdor was found to be a traitor to his country; as a result he was killed. The king, Duncan, immediately decides that Macbeth should be the man to be given the title, Thane of Cawdor. Duncan doesn't think twice about trusting Macbeth completely after just being deceived by the last thane. This is the first decision made that basically starts everything.

Macbeth and Banquo are on their way to Forres when they come across the witches for the first time. The witches give the two predictions of their futures. They tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Banquo is told that his descendants will become kings. Macbeth decides to believe what the witches have said, while Banquo remains doubtful. Macbeth has already become Thane of Glamis and when he is told that he has been named Thane of Cawdor he immediately has thoughts of murdering Duncan to make the final prediction true. "Two truths are told, as happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme." (I, II, 137-139)

The witches' predictions...