Macbeths Manipulation Essay

This essay has a total of 969 words and 4 pages.

Macbeths Manipulation

When we first hear about Macbeth from the sergeant's report, we are led to believe that he
is very much a person who does only what he believes is right. Furthermore, when he first
appears in the play, his fellow nobleman, Banquo, accompanies him. Given this, we would
think that he does what is right, and makes all his own decisions. However this belief is
proven wrong. Although Macbeth starts off as a loyal subject of Duncan, he is ambitious
and this is a weakness, which allows him to be manipulated by a few factors in the play.


From the beginning of act 1 scene 5 till the murder of Duncan in act 2 scene 2, it is
evident that Lady Macbeth manipulates and convinces Macbeth into murdering Duncan. This is
basically the only part of the play where Lady Macbeth has control over Macbeth. After
Duncan's murder, Macbeth is partly driven by evil powers.


Proof of Lady Macbeth understanding Macbeth's thoughts and feelings are visible in her
thoughts "Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without the illness should
attend it." (1.5.19-21). From the very same speech and small implications from the letter,
we can tell that Macbeth was ambitious enough to want to be the King, but would not think
of murdering Duncan. Because Lady Macbeth knew this, she also knew that she would have to
push Macbeth into performing the deed and she starts by telling him "Thy letters have
transported me beyond this ignorant present and I feel now the future in the present"
(1.5.57-59) the moment they meet. From Macbeth's reply "We will speak further" (1.5.69) he
is obviously noncommittal, but was already thinking about it. The first step of
manipulation has started.


Not much further in the play, we see that Macbeth decides not to murder Duncan but rather,
carry on serving as his Thane. However, Lady Macbeth starts her persuasion again, but this
time she questions his manhood, saying "When you durst do it, then you were a man: And to
be more then what you were you would be so much more the man." (1.7.49-51). Had she not
challenged his manhood and his love for her, he would not have usurped the throne and she
would not have become a Queen. Not only did she get him to think about the murder, she
even knew what to say after he had started thinking about the murder.


The power of evil is also another force that controls Macbeth. Shakespeare mainly
personifies it as the three witches and Hecate, the head witch. Despite Macbeth being
ambitious, he probably never though that he would become a King as Duncan already had two
sons whom he could leave his legacy to. But after Banquo and Macbeth's first encounter
with the three witches, Macbeth became hungry for the throne and couldn't wait to be King.
This is shown in his thoughts "The Prince of Cumberland: that is a step on which I must
fall down, or else o'er-leap, for in my way it lies." (1.4.49-51). Had he not had his
future revealed to him by the witches, he would never have thought such bad thoughts
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