In the play Macbeth the characters are using certain prophesies to try and help themselves in gaining confidence and self-assurance in achieving their ultimate goals. This is especially true in the character of Macbeth. He believes that throughout this story he is able to control his destiny and also change things he can not. He thinks that the actions he takes and the decisions that he makes will allow him to control the future and further himself. In the beginning of this play, Macbeth is encountered by three witches, which give him the news of him becoming the king. He does not allow this to get to him initially but when their prophesy of him becoming the Thane of Cawdor comes true, he takes their other words a lot more seriously.
He then puts into action the killing of King Duncan. By this move, he is able to take the throne. This finalizes the witches initial prediction of Macbeth becoming the king. His rule of Scotland is very tumultuous and questions arise of his ability of being able to rule properly and his previous actions. He then murders his friend Banquo and then again consults the witches.
They provide him with three more prophesies. One to beware of Macduff, one that he cannot be killed by any man born of woman, and the final saying he cant be killed until Birnam Wood moves. Delighted by this news, Macbeth is filled with more false hopes and confidence. But inevitably his belief and trust in his ability to know the future and be filled with such confidence catches up to him. He is overwhelmed by all the true prophesies given by the witches and his eventual overthrow by Macduff. The story of Macbeth is basically a story of one mans attempts to control the future.
Macbeth uses all his abilities and all his resources to try and accomplish this, but in the end it fails him. He bases all of his actions on his knowledge of the future and his attempts to change it. The whole story is based around the idea of his knowledge of what is to happen, and his attempts to change that towards his own benefit. It provides him with the false hopes that were an eventual contributor to his downfall.