In Act 3 Scene 5 of Macbeth, Hecate confronts three witches and wants to know why she has not been included in the meetings that the Witches have had with Macbeth. Hecate informs them that Macbeth will soon know her destiny. Hecate tells them that if Macbeth comes the next day, then the witches must bring spirits and visions in order to draw Macbeth into confusion. Many critics have considered this scene not to be consistent with other scenes in the play.
From the summary it is seen that this scene has four main characters: Witch 1, Witch 2, Witch 3 and Hecate. Hecate is very annoyed with the witches and this creates a tense atmosphere in this scene. Hecate feels angry because she believes she is the leader of the witches and needed to have been informed about the interaction with Macbeth. This is a sign of betrayal that is seen in this scene.
This scene was written by William Shakespeare. At the end of the scene Hecate states, “And you all know, security/Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.” Through this text Hecate reveals Macbeth’s character that he believes he is untouchable and this is what will result to his downfall. The above quotes reveal a common theme that was prevalent in Shakespeare’s works: the theme of dual nature of kings. In Shakespeare’s works, kings believed that they were not mortal and untouchable because they were a gift to humanity from God. This can be seen in the experience of Richard II who also believed he was untouchable and implemented policies that were not popular with the masses. The dual nature is seen the moment the king is deposed. The fact that there is dual nature of kings from this scene shows that it was written by Shakespeare.
The other reason why the scene was written by Shakespeare can be seen when one evaluates Macbeth’s soliloquy. In this soliloquy, Macbeth talks aloud regarding her own thoughts. In this scene, the author refers to “pale Hecate” found in Act 2 Scene 1. Had it not been Shakespeare, then he would have not known about the existence of such a character.
The theme of fate appears to be prevalent in this scene. Hecate informs the witches that Macbeth will eventually know his destiny. Hecate says that “by the strength of their illusion” he should conclude that he is safe. This play is full of illusions and magic from the beginning to the end and highlights another common theme in The Tempest also written by Shakespeare. The commonality of the manner in which this theme is fashioned out in both The Tempest and Macbeth shows that it is Shakespeare who wrote this scene. For example, the scene shows how visual and aural illusion is used to manipulate subjects. Through this, Hecate is able to gain control of the situation. This is a theme that has developed through the play and not only in this scene. The other instance of illusion in the Macbeth is when Lady Macbeth is made to believe that she will gain prestige, power and money after she becomes queen. This is not the case because she is guilty and loses her mind eventually killing herself.
Act 3 Scene 5 of Macbeth has raised philosophical questions about its author. The analysis of this act also raised the question of whether Macbeth should be entirely blamed for his downfall. According to Hecate, Macbeth is responsible for his downfall. This is because he “loves his own ends.” Hecate also states that Macbeth will spurn fate and in this case recalling the words “disdaining fortune” which were uttered in Act 1. This also confirms that it is Shakespeare who wrote this act.