Fair Is Foul in Macbeth Essay Example

Fair Is Foul in Macbeth Essay Example
📌Category: Literature, Shakespeare
📌Words: 872
📌Pages: 4
📌Published: 06 June 2021

In the Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth , the Witches said, “Fair is foul, foul is fair”. The delightful will become ugly and the ugly will become elegant. The Witches look ugly, but the prediction they offer to Macbeth are pleasing to him throughout the whole play based of his actions. Shakespeare uses the characters of the witches to drive and influence all major actions of Macbeth showing that it’s often impossible for people to separate the influence of fate and free will. 

In the beginning of the play the Witches are introduced and prophesize what will happen while Macbeth and Banquo listen. Macbeth is represented as a courageous soldier at first, until the Witches prophesize him with actions to become King and he starts to believe them. When Macbeth said: 

Against the use of nature? Present fears

Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but  fantastical Shakes so my single state of man That function is smothered in surmise. (Shakespeare Act 1 Scene 3 ; Lines 140-144) 

Macbeth makes this statement because he realizes his fate it is just a fantasy right now, but the thought of him having to commit murder is changing the way he will act. It is changing him to the point where he doesn’t even know who he actually is anymore. Also, when the Witches said:

First Witch: "all hail Macbeth hail to thee thane of glamis 

Second Witch: all hail macbeth to thee thane of cawdor

Third Witch: all hail macbeth who shalt be king hereafter" (Act 1 Scene 3 ; Lines 49-51)

Here Macbeth has been persuaded to believe the Witches that he has to become king by following through with  the Witches prophecies. He wants to please the Witches by believing the Witches even though he needs deep ambition to gain power by committing a horrible crime, such as murder. When Macbeth gave an aside he said, “Glamis, and thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind. (to ROSS and ANGUS) Thanks for your pains" (Act 1 Scene 3 ; 118-119). This is showing what the Witches said came true. He believes the best part of the Witches has foreshadowed what will come. Macbeth has a strong influence from the Witches and they cause him to become psycho, but really Macbeth will act off his free-will.   

Macbeth had no plans of killing King Duncan until he heard the prophecies from the Witches. Macbeth said: 

Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice

To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,

Strong both against the deed; then, as his host. (Act 1 Scene 7 ; Lines 


He knows he should always protect the King from murders; therefore, not be trying to murder the King himself. Since Macbeth believes the Witches so much it has taken over his guilt and his ambition that leads him to act off his free-will and ends up killing Duncan. Also, Macbeth said, "For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;Let not light see my black and deep desires… Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see" (Act 1 Scene 4 ; Line 51-55), showing that he doesn’t want anyone to see the bad action he is about to commit and how horrified he will be to see himself killing Duncan.

The witches prophesied that he was going to have to kill Duncan to become King; therefore, he feels this is the plan he has to carry out based of his fate. But, Macbeth is really acting off free-will because he doesn’t have to listen to what the Witches tell him. He is choosing the action to commit murder. Also, the Witches had intensely messed with Macbeth’s head to the point Macbeth said, "is this a dagger which i see before me? handle toward my hand?..." (Act 2 Scene 1 ; Line 33-34). Macbeth believes there is a dagger right in front of him, but it is only the expression of his own thoughts. Also, this is showing his concerning emotions since the Witches prophesied that he had to kill Duncan. The dagger symbolizes that Macbeth is committed to the plan and will act off his free-will to kill the King. This is how the Witches and their prophecy affect Macbeth by him listening to his fate, but acting off his free-will in order to have killed of Duncan. 

Banquo and his son

In the end, Macbeth is worried about Banquo and his son being King and having to kill them both too. When the third Witch said, “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none" (Act 1 Scene 3 ; Lines 68-69). The Witch is saying Macbeth’s kids will be King, but since he has no kids, Banquo's kid will become king. Macbeth begins to worry more about keeping the throne as his. Macbeth said, "(aside to BANQUO) Do you not hope your children shall be kings, When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me Promised no less to them?" (Act 1 Scene 3 ; Lines 120-121). Once Macbeth become Thane of Cawdor, he expected Banquo to believe the prophecy.  After this, Macbeth remembers the Witch said he was Thane of Cawdor and promised him nothing less. Macbeth is in a state of mind where he is worried about Banquo because he was the only one to hear the prophecy and he is suspicious. Since Macbeth is extremely worried about Banquo and his son being King, he decides to act of his free-will again to kill both Duncan and his son. Now Macbeth isn’t worried about Banquo and his son being King.


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