Macbeth's choice of actions are substantially influenced by the various
characters he encounters from the very beginning of the play. In the opening of
the play Macbeth is portrayed as a good man. Macbeth is described as "brave",
"valiant" "a good and hardy soldier" also honorable, worthy and wise (I.ii.24).
Only after Macbeth meets the witches that his character flaws begin to show. The
witches prophecy is cause to Macbeth to think selfishly about being king, and
then about the murder of Duncan. (QUOTE) Macbeth immediately becomes much more
self-involved after hearing the prophecy than he was shown to be before, as the
brave and selfless soldier willing to die for his country. (quote) He starts to
have constant thoughts about becoming king and has "horrible imaginings" about
killing Duncan (III.iii.137). The witches are the first influence on Macbeth,
but they are certainly not his last. His own wife, Lady Macbeth is very
influential on the descions Macbeth makes. As soon as she receives the letter
describing the weird occurrences, and the prophecy of the witches that Macbeth
has sent to her, Lady Macbeth begins to plot and plan how Macbeth can become
king. She decides to "pour my[her] spirits in thine[his] ear, and chastise with
the valour of my[her] tongue all the impeded thee[him] from the golden round"
(I.v.23). Lady Macbeth even goes as far as to call upon the spirits to "unsex"
her, and make her more strong, and powerful, so that she can help her husband
succeed in his desires (I.v.37) She only gives him encouragement to murder
Duncan, and doesn't allow Macbeth to question his thoughts for even one moment.
When he does ask the question: "If we should fail?'' Lady Macbeth quickly
responds "...screw your courage to the sticking place...",(I.vi.60). Macbeth
does not even come up with his own murder plan, it is of his wife's. Lady
Macbeth even teases her husband about his courage, and his desire to be king,
which entices him listen to her. Macbeth has so many outside influences, that it
is impossible to determine if he would have continued with his thoughts to kill
Duncan without the influence other characters made on him.
Word Count: 364