Task: By careful study of the play decide, in committing Duncan's murder how far Macbeth is driven by his own ambition; how far he is dominated by his wife's; and how far he is influenced by the witches.
The play Macbeth gives the audience plenty of opportunity to consider the reasons for the main characters action. In this essay I will consider how far he is driven by his own ambition, how far he is dominated by his wife, and how much he is influenced by the witches.
At the start of the play we are introduced to Macbeth's character and learn about his ambitions. Three witches meet upon a heath and discuss their plan to meet Macbeth. Immediately Macbeth is associated with evil because he will be meeting witches. The supernatural is an important theme in the play. Soon after in Act 1, Scene 2, King Duncan is talking to a captain about the battle. The captain tells Duncan how hard and bravely Macbeth fought. "For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name - Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel which smoked with bloody execution". This also shows that he doesn't care about his well being and that he has killed many men before. The captain then comes on to speak about how valiantly Macbeth kills MacDonald. "Till he faced the slave, which ne"er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he unseamed him from the nave to th" chaps". This shows Macbeth almost casually killed him, and cut him open from his nave to his mouth. This proves Macbeth can be a very violent man, but is brave and used to seeing lots of blood and gore. It shows that Macbeth has a lot of ambition and really wants to be very good at everything. This links to how Macbeth's ambition influences him, because he wants to kill as many people as he can and is likely that if he wants to do well in battle he will want to do well in all other things he does. This contrasts with Scene 1 because Scene 2 shows that Macbeth is brave and powerful and is defeating the invading Norwegians and Scottish traitors.