Thursday, April 13, 2017

Macbeth's Witches oops Wishes

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(Ref : Wikipedia) Shakespeare's witches are prophets who hail Macbeth, the general, early in the play, and prophesy his ascent to king.  Upon killing the king and ascending the throne of Scotland, Macbeth hears them ambiguously prophesy his eventual downfall. The darkly contradictory witches, their "filthy" trappings and supernatural activities, all set an ominous tone for the play.



Macbeth - a book that I read as a teenager, left me always wondering about the three witches. Do witches really exist ? If yes, will I also meet one? Is it indeed possible to know about one's future ? All these doubts gradually ceased to exist as my personal and professional life grew engrossing, busy and satisfying. I realized that our inner strength and interest drive our life in setting and realizing our goals. Even the journey along the way of goal realization is an experience in itself. Friends and well wishers provide the directional arrows to keep us on our track. We neither need the witches nor their prophecy to realize our dreams, but yes; any wrong intentions surely require the support of witches; for it is the witches who merely provide the fuel to the fire of destruction. In fact, the witches are nothing more than mere wishes.


This fusion of human nature and story telling is also seen in our everyday lives. Every individual is an architect or bearer of his or her life. Both roles ie of architect and bearer; are important for the living and gelling of ones life in the man made society. I recall an incident that confirmed it. 

One day,  over cold glasses of nimbu pani in the hot summer sun, five friends were trying to catch up with the happenings in their life after a gap of about five years as a result of them graduating and moving along their chosen career.  The talk started with individual current happenings then moved to family and their likes and dislikes; their individual career and job aspirations; their individual household problems and so on... Each had their idea of happiness and also had problem areas that were either manageable or out of their control. The regular flow of talk about family and career soon progressed to being just individuals. And no sooner, Macbeth's witches also joined in. The distinction in this personal talk happened as soon as negative emotions took over the friends. The 'witches' oops 'wishes' resided for as long as the group thought fit and no sooner they realized the effect of the 'witches' than the group of friends quickly held their words in check. 

The incident is an example of human nature at its best. It dawned on me that dissatisfaction at times leads to the calling of the witches to vent out the frustration. Macbeth probably did not meet the witches but acknowledged his wishes. 

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