We make our own choices everyday. We decide whether we want to go to school or work, whether to skip practice or not, whether to hold the door open for someone behind us, or even to decide whether or not to attend certain events. We all don’t have the same decisions to make daily, but something everyone can agree on, is that some decisions are harder to make than others. Shakespeare creates a story that makes his audience understand how hard these choices can be and the power of influence that others could have on our own decisions. In the novel, “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare, although everyone comes face to face with difficult decisions and people who may influence their decisions, everyone ultimately is in control of themselves and their actions.
Macbeth started out as someone who seemed like a noble soldier, loyal to King Duncan, but when his wife starts to call him out, he gets pressured into making decisions that he wasn't fully comfortable with. “When you durst do it, then you were a man;/ And, to be more than what you were, you would/ Be so much more the man” (1.7.54-56) Macbeth knew that murdering King Duncan was wrong, but he did it. Although Lady Macbeth was the one who persuaded Macbeth to commit the crime, Macbeth was ultimately the one in control of his actions. This part of the book shows that he can be easily influenced which also means that his mind isn't very strong.
Another example of when Macbeth was persuaded was with his encounter with the three witches. "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king/ hereafter" (1.3.51-53). Although they aren't saying to directly kill anyone or commit any sort of crime, their predictions of the future fuel his own ambition, because he thinks what they're telling him is true. To make their vision true, Macbeth follows the path to become king with Lady Macbeth insisting that he needs to murder King Duncan in order to do so. Even if the witches were telling him something, he still had the choice whether to act based on that or not. Act according to that or not, and in the end he ended up acting according to what he heard and not following morals and what was actually the right thing to do.
Not only was Macbeth facing consequences because of his poor decision making, but so was his wife, Lady Macbeth. "Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." (5.1.43-44) In this part of the book, Lady Macbeth is reflecting back to the murder of Duncan. The audience learns that with her decision to be bold and drive her husband to murder King Duncan, came with the price of having heavy shoulders. At this point in the book, she kind of realizes that what she did was so terribly wrong that there wouldnʻt be anything that she can do to fix it. The death of Duncan was not only Macbeth but it was also her fault because she posed as a heavy influence to Macbeth and his actions related to this situation. She had the chance to influence her husband the correct way and to remind herself to do the right thing, and let Macbeth achieve the throne the correct way but she didnʻt.
The weird sisters were a huge part in the story and also another heavy influence on Macbeth and his decision making process. The weird sisters are telling Macbeth that no one born of a woman will harm Macbeth, and he interprets this the wrong way. "Be bloody, bold, and resolute: laugh to scorn/ The power of man; for none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth." (4.1.79-81)” He starts to feel as if no one will ever be a real threat to him, but he fails to realize that Macduffʻs mother actually had a C-section, which does mean that he is a proposed threat to Macbeth and his ruling. It was in his decision to be ignorant and to even believe them in the first place. Heʻs taking in and believing all this information about them which leads to Macbeth being a big cause of Macduffʻs familyʻs death. Macbeth is weak in the sense that he was choosing to believe the witches and take the easier route.
Macbeth is influencing the murderers to kill Banquo. ““Both of you/ Know Banquo was your enemy.” (3.1.12-13)” Although he didnʻt actually commit the murder directly, it was his decision to get other people to kill Banquo for him. This situation is somewhat parallel to the situation with Lady Macbeth influencing Macbeth to murder King Duncan. Although Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, werenʻt the murderers, they both had people kill for them in a way. It still was their decision to influence other people to do the dirty work for them. It wasnʻt needed to murder Banquo but Macbeth let his insecurity get the best of him. Although his decision making might be clouded, it isnʻt an excuse for him to go against what is morally correct.
Macbeth is doing whatever it takes to ensure his place on the throne and make sure nothing gets in his way, and this includes murdering the family of someone he barely knows. ““The castle of Macduff I will surprise,/Seize upon Fife, give to thʻedge oʻthʻsword/ His wife, his babies, and all unfortunate souls/“ (4.1.150-152)” It was unnecessary to murder Macduffʻs family, and foolish because it was also all based on his prophecy… But this was Macbethʻs decision. In the beginning of the book, Macbeth was even hesitant to follow through with the crime of homicide, but through his rise of more and more inhumane actions and decisions, he insisted on murdering Macduffʻs family although they caused no harm to him.
In the end, whatever decisions we decide to make, consequences and outcomes will always follow. Consequences have no sympathy, and whether we were influenced or not, this novel tells us that the effects will never fail to show. Macbeth written by William Shakespeare shows us that throughout the book, Macbeth comes face to face with his consequences of the murders he has committed and Lady Macbeth the same, and also how the weird sisters are an influence on some of these decisions. Macbeth started out very civilized, acting very accordingly to the rules but he comes into tact with all of these influences and just loses himself throughout the book. Itʻs important for everyone to remember how decisions can affect our future and this includes our thoughts and also related decisions that we have to make.