The character of Macbeth transforms from that of a valiant warrior to a trapped and brutal tyrant all within a singular act. Macbeth’s moral decay, although humanizing through the emotional depths of guilt, corrupts his character, leading him to the ultimate demise of goodness and virtue. Overcome and destroyed by unchecked ambition, Macbeth, falls into the … faith of the three witches’ prophecies. Inevitably both molding himself and character into a tragic Shakespearean hero about to commit murder. Macbeth although initially wary, later finds himself enraptured within the sayings of the three witches.
All hail Macbeth! Hail to you, thane of Glamis!
All hail Macbeth! Hail to you, thane of Cawdor!
All hail Macbeth! In the future, you shall be king! (Act 1,3, 50-53)
The three witches hold on the character of Macbeth, juxtaposes the 17th century tale of Aurora and the three good fairies within the stories of the Brothers Grimm. Each of the three fairies provided a gift of good kind moral to Aurora, contradicting the prophecies given to Macbeth of which serve to test his ethical abilities. Just as Aurora’s character stays true to the gifts given to her by the fairies: internal and external beauty, song, and true love, Macbeth, intends to become the figure that the three witches said he would be. In many ways the three witches center their role on leading Macbeth astray, possibly looking to further assert their own agenda.
Auroras good fairies, however, devote their lives to protecting her from the lurking evil by providing a specific path to follow on. It appears as though Shakespeare uses the qualities possessed by three witches to inevitably conjure the perfect villain, just as the Brothers Grimm uses the traits of the three good fairies to raise the perfect heroine. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather’s names translate to beauty, kindness, and happiness, whereas the opening line, spoken by one of the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth,
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain? (Act 1,1,1-2)
Translates to “in, battle, power/ powerful, or in abundance?” three qualities that all serve as the structure and influence on the wickedness of self doubting but ambitious Macbeth.
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