Although the witches were a main cause of Macbeth’s downfall, the blame cannot lie solely with them. Rather, the unfortunate events were the result of poor judgement, human weakness, and adverse circumstances.
The three “weird sisters”, as they are referred to in the play, planted a seed in Macbeths mind. This seed was the idea he could become king. They did this by saying: “all hail Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Glamis.” then “all hail Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Cawdor.” and finally “all hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter.” Macbeth was already Thane of Glamis but he was puzzled because the Thane of Cawdor was still alive. When Macbeth heard of the Thane of Cawdor’s treachery, and that he was to take his title he began to wonder if the witches had spoken the truth. The seed that the witches had planted was growing.Order now
However, although the witches planted the seed, Macbeth needed soil for it to grow in. This soil was his lust for power, wealth, and status. After he heard that he was to be Thane of Cawdor he stated, “If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me without my stir.” So he was suggesting that he might be able to take the throne without actually doing anything. Although at the time he murders King Duncan it is obvious that his greed has taken over.
Lady Macbeth was another main cause of the tragedy. Macbeth was having doubts about the appalling thing he was considering, and Lady Macbeth convinced him it was the right thing to do. She called him a coward and told him “I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was still smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from its boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.” So in effect she was saying “I would go so far as to kill my own child if I had sworn to it like you have sworn to this.”
Macbeths own weakness was to contribute towards his downfall. It was said in the play “brave Macbeth well he deserves that name disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel, which smok’d with bloodied execution, like valour’s minion carv’d out his passage, till he faced the slave: which he ne’er shook hands or, nor bade farewell to him, till he was unseam’d him from the nave to the chops, and fixed his head upon our battlements.” This was a statement from one of the soldiers fighting beside Macbeth praising his bravery and valour in battle. However, when it came to strength of character Macbeth was lacking. He let his wife make his earlier decisions for him by manipulating him with her words. He did not have enough strength of mind to make his own decisions about the actions he was about to commit.
Although the witches were a very large contributing factor to the downfall of Macbeth, they weren’t the only one. Had Macbeth not wanted to be king or lady Macbeth not have pushed him towards it then the outcome could have been somewhat different.