Women are the root of all evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth
Debate Rounds (3)
Women were not the root of all evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Rather they were the weaker sex especially in medieval times. Lady Macbeth needed to bulwark herself from the world next to a strong man. Insofar as the motivator, Lady M & the 3 witches saw Macbeth's desire to be king. They nurtured the path Macbeth was already on. Consequently, whatever crazy path her husband decided on, Lady M dedicated her body and soul to attain it for her husband.
What the three little ole biddies, er, witches and his wife say are not the same as deeds. Facta non verba (Deeds not words) carry the weight solely on Macbeth"s shoulders.
Even when Banquo & Macbeth (Act 1, Scene 3) come upon the three witches, doing their coven thing, on a barren heath, they greet him with bizarre titles of flattery probably because old ladies don't get a lot of company. They were probably having an girls night out with some welcomed the chance to talk & share the company of handsome, strong, healthy men. This is not so far-fetched.
Warrior men don't really take time with old women in tales of yore. Old women are a usually feared & shunned; they can help the men with prophecy or act as an evil witch, which of course is feared by most Christians. Their words Witch 2: "Not so happy, yet happier." seem mysterious and convoluted; most likely further evidence of magic mushrooms. Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog were most likely utilized by Shakespeare to rhyme it all (Act 1 Scene 4). Or else that is all their widow's pension could afford.
"They have more in them than mortal knowledge" is what Macbeth wrote to Lady M, she wants to believe in his passion & no matter the cost (Act 1 Scene 5). Macbeth was determined to ascribe prophecy to the fancy, esoteric claims of three witches.
Btw, here is a nice rendition of Macbeth via PBS: http://www.pbs.org...
Who encouraged Macbeth to kill Duncan?
Of course the three witches & Lady Macbeth encourage Macbeth to become king and by ways of becoming king, he must kill a few others. Any high-born lady wants her husband to become king, as well as the three local, old biddies wanting their favorite lord to win the crown. They are supportive women, who are the weaker sex especially in the middle ages, truly the root of all evil? No.
The three weird sisters, do not really cross Macbeth's mind until Banquo brings them up (Act 3 Scene 1). Macbeth starts to think that Banquo perhaps thinks on the crown.
Macbeth, who had slain Duncan, usurped the crown, and now command two murderers to slay Banquo & his fleance (son) would have done these deeds with or without the women. He was focused on getting control of Scotland for himself.
What were the witches' involvements?
The witches' involvements were a simple plot excitement. Let me put this into a sort of contextual history. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 1606. Women in Macbeth are a necessary distraction not the root of all evil.
So give or take a few years leading up to the completion of writing Macbeth, most of Scotland has been rife with clan battles & English wars.
Here is a wee timeline:
1564: Birth of William Shakespeare.
1587: Mary Queen of Scots beheaded.
1590: North Berwick Witch Hunts - 16th-century Scots worried about foreign enemies, but they also worried about an enemy within - the minions of the Devil. In 1590, it was brought to James VI's attention that some witches had been apprehended. Those accused were supposed to have raised storms to sink the newly-weds' ship. 
Witches were big business.
If Macbeth were a bachelor or had no influence of women, as my Pro suggests, Macbeth still would have committed his killing spree.
RayTheGreat forfeited this round.
To go back to the original argument: The women in Macbeth, the 3 Weird Sisters & Lady Macbeth, are the root of all evil in Shakespeare's Macbeth. I state, "No."
Macbeth could have killed all the people that he needed in order to get that crown without any feminine intrigue. Macbeth's nefarious desire to be ruler of Scotland made him act upon his thoughts.
Famous Shakespearean Quote: " The very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand." ~ Macbeth (Act 4 Scene 1)
Yes, the women are a part of Macbeth"s life, like Banquo, as supportive persons, yet the root of all evil? No.
"Turn, hell hound, turn." ~ Macduff
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