The witches in Macbeth serve to advance the story, reveal human weakness, heighten the tension and give the audience a hint of things to come, but they do not control Macbeth or anyone else in the play. The only power they have over Macbeth is their ability to reinforce an idea that was already in his head. Their role is made clear when Hecate speaks to them,
“ And which is worse, all you have done
showed first 75 words of 961 total
showed last 75 words of 961 total
are his as well as the sins of his deeds. He is the master of his own fate no matter how gruesome that turned out to be. The witches laid out before Macbeth many of the temptations that await mankind. How these temptations are delt with depends on mans’ character and moral strength. While the witches tempted, and Lady Macbeth connived, it was ultimately up to Macbeth to say, “ No “ and put away the knife.