The Witches are responsible for what happens to Macbeth
Although Macbeth does take actions that lead to his downfall, I believe that he is not totally responsible for what happens. Although he takes the action that leads to his downfall, he perhaps would not have done this if the witches had not told him that he would be king in Act 1 Scene 3. I believe that it is the witches are more responsible for Macbeth s downfall than he is.
In Act 1, Scene 3, the witches tell Macbeth that he is thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor and that he "shalt be king hereafter". Immediately after hearing the witches prophesise that he will be king, Macbeth thinks that he must kill the current king to become king himself. I believe that before hearing the witch s prophecies, Macbeth had never in his wildest dreams thought of killing King Duncan to become king himself.
In Act 4, Scene 1, Macbeth meets again with the witches, who tell him through apparitions, "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff. Beware the thane of Fife." In the following scene, we see murderers sent by Macbeth enter Macduff s castle and slaughter both Lady Macduff and her son. The witches are also responsible for this murder, because once again, the witches put ideas in his head.
Although the witches can be held responsible for the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macduff and her son, they cannot be held responsible for the murder of Banquo. The witches only speak of Banquo when Macbeth meets with them for the second time and Act 4, Scene 1, after Banquo has already been killed. This murder is the complete responsibility of Macbeth, because the witches had absolutely nothing to do with it and it was only Macbeth s own suspicions that brought him to have Banquo killed.
If Macbeth had not taken action to fulfill the witch s prophecies, he would probably have been happily living as the thane of Glamis and Cawdor at the end of the play. It could be said that he was responsible for his own downfall. However, Macbeth only took action after hearing the witch s prophecies, so I believe that Macbeth cannot be held totally responsible for what happens to himself. I believe that if Macbeth had never heard the witch s prophecies, he would have lived a happy, full life, and perhaps he would have become anyway.