How did Lady Macbeth Influence Macbeth: Unraveling Ambition and Manipulation

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The acts of Macbeth were written around the year 1606 by William Shakespeare. When he wrote the play, he was undergoing a dangerous phase, but the result was a great misfortune. The opening act is filled with collision even with its briefness which makes the scene interesting as well. The play has many aspects, which include; temptation, murder, vengeance, and misery, but the main theme of discussion is the Supernatural. In the play, Macbeth is a moral individual who is a highly revered man by his peers, and happiness is experienced by those who encircle him.

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However, throughout the first scene, aspects of weakness will be observed, which will end up changing his personality to a treacherous and unjust being. By the end of this article, the events of the first scene and their significance to the play will be discussed in detail.


The Opening Scene’s Omen of Manipulation

The first act takes place on a moorland in Scotland, where three witches known as the Weird Sisters linger to rally with Macbeth in the midst of a storm. They have a dialogue among themselves which is full of irrationality and deception as they plan on meeting Macbeth after the trouncing and triumph of the battle (Anderson & Judith 341). A desolate environment is their choice of place for making their plan which goes to show that the witches are setting up something treacherous. The way in which Shakespeare manages the beginning of the first scene shows that evil will prevail in the play. It is evident with the use of witches, the wild storm, and the deserted place he uses for the meetup. Imagination is formed in our heads where we see the third witch silent for some time as her sisters assemble around her as they screech out the hero’s name. The screeching is done in a devilish ecstasy which will create suspense in our minds.

The opening line, which asks about the meeting place of the three witches involving thunder and rain, captures the mind of the audience since the mystical world creates an appeal for the England inhabitants (Bradley et al. 50). During the first performance and writing of the play by Shakespeare, witchcraft was a grand rival entrancing the people through the suspicious activities carried out by the witches. The war between the witches and humans was rampant, and witch-hunts were being conducted; thus, many individuals were convicted since they were witches and put to death. We can see that the witches in the play incorporate well with the conventional perception of the witches of the time the play was being written.

Macbeth’s Vulnerability and Transformation

The supernatural is a theme in the play. We can see that the witches sing rhythms that are paranormal and the climate change that comes with their presence (Ray &Subrata 7). As well as we know, Shakespeare, the chief characters of his play, are the witches, which shows the play has more supernatural events to portray, and that is not a concurrence. The exertion of the witches is that of existing instruments of divine intervention to bring trouble into Macbeth’s life. The most salient thing about the play is that the commencement of evil in the universe is based on this opening scene. The world is presented as a place where the expectations we have are not what they seem to be.

A theatrical opening is provided by the thunder and lightning, which grabs the viewers’ attention since these two aspects are meant to symbolize evil. A mystical mood is created, which is meant to be bent along with the witches (Anderson & Judith 344). Since the audience expects to see Macbeth, Shakespeare instead introduces three women who look bizarre, and they are witches introducing us to a play that is mysterious and dangerous with the central theme of malevolence. This action creates the mood of the play, which gains the interest of the audience to want more from the play. The wayward rhythms of the songs sung by the witches create a dramatic effect on the play, which helps prepare us for what is about to unfold.

Progressive Isolation and Psychological Unraveling

In the play, we see the theme being portrayed by the belief of the community about how the character of the king would positively impact their lifestyle. This suggests that politics was related to the forces of nature (Anderson & Judith 344). Unnatural occurrences are experienced by how Lady Macbeth behaves and his husband. When an order is made to kill Duncan, the storms are great, and death occurs as the animals start feeding on each other. Duncan’s speech uses words of nature in his description of the kind of work they do, which is gardening. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth and his husband instead use nature to mask their brutal actions toward the community.

The battle that is being fought is between Scotland and Norway, but we also take notice of the trysting place where the witches would reside. These acts create suspension, which gives the viewers thirst for more of the play since the name of the individual the witches are scheduled to meet is mentioned (Spurgeon & Caroline 160). Once the name “Macbeth” has been articulated, the calls of the assistant spirits are heard, which makes the witches speed off. The name of the man whose soul the ministers of darkness are scheming is given, and that’s where the first scene of the play ends. The presence of mystical forces in the scene provides an escalating unease for the viewers.

The witches go and give the state their prophecies to Macbeth, and the way Banquo reacts in a jealous manner. He is ambitious and wants the witches to make a prophecy of him as well. His questions to the witches are mainly focused on why he is not getting the same blessings (Spurgeon & Caroline 160). Instead, the witches tell him that his desire to be the king cannot be met through his sons will be kings in the future. The witches tell him that his happiness will be greater than that of Macbeth, which excites him not until he realizes it was a dream. Questions seem to disturb Banquo, and his suspicions of King Duncan’s death lead to the king.

This is when Macbeth hears the prophecies of the witches and how his life is meant to lead. Death occurs upon Banquo since he has knowledge of many things that will destroy the reign of Macbeth Duncan, who was the current king, had to meet his end so that Macbeth would become the king. “and live a coward in thine own esteem” are the words Lady Macbeth uses to describe the cowardice nature of his husband. Her ambitions for the crown are clear with the fact that she believes the prophecy of the witches and uses that to control the mind of Macbeth. Insulting the manly character of his husband, Lady Macbeth is able to convince him to kill King Duncan.

Lady Macbeth’s Ambition and Manipulation

Lady Macbeth is clever and decides to use the manhood state of his husband to corrupt his mind and make him commit the crime of murder (Bradley et al. 50). Since the witches told him that his actions would get his desires fulfilled, then Lady Macbeth made sure that the murder of King Duncan had to be done by his husband. She ensures that the necessary weapons for the act are in reach for his husband. They then make a plan on how they will blame the workers for the death of the king by placing the dagger in their possession.
The way witches are anticipated to meet Macbeth and influence his decisions in the play. This shows that the future of Macbeth depends on the impact the witches will have on him (Ray &Subrata 7). Also, the way the witches plan for the future, and the events will be seen in the next scenes of the play. The plots of the witches against the king make things seem not how they should. This is a similar situation to where a servant is scheming to murder their ruler, which is a sign of betrayal. It is evident that the way the witches make an entrance in the play shows their unwillingness to be candid with what they have to say.

The phrase “fair is foul and foul is fair” creates a discrepancy in how the actions are going to turn out in the rest of the play. The term “filthy air” goes to show that the witches bring an atmosphere that is not entirely favorable. The consequence will impact the next scenes since the witches will be of significant influence on Macbeth and the wishes he has of being the king.


My conclusion is the first scene of the play written by Shakespeare indicates that he is a mastermind with the way he pioneers his play in an atmosphere that is breathtaking and anxiety accompanies it. Furthermore, the scene of Macbeth has served as an exposition providing a spiritual keynote that has captured our attention (Bradley et al. 46). The play is a cataclysm of the conquest of evil which is symbolized by the emaciated beings, and the line “foul is fair” clearly describes them. It comes to a lot of fascinating thoughts on how the play will be as well as how the next stages will unfold. The play seems to be more dramatic from the initial part, which leaves a lot for the eye to want a glimpse.


  1. Anderson, Judith H. “Macbeth and Witchcraft.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 21, no. 2, 1981, pp. 341-359.
  2. Bradley, A. C., et al. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  3. Ray, Subrata Kumar. “The Supernatural in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.” The Literary Criterion, vol. 50, no. 1, 2015, pp. 7-17.
  4. Spurgeon, Caroline F. E. Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells Us. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
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How Did Lady Macbeth Influence Macbeth: Unraveling Ambition and Manipulation. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from