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Three Witches In Macbeth Essay Title

The Role of the Witches in Macbeth Essay

996 Words4 Pages

The Role of the Witches in Macbeth In the play, Shakespeare used the witches to represent the supernatural, evil, a destructive force and an inversion of natural order. At the time the play was written, people believed this, and feared witches. People believed that witches had the power to change the weather and other special powers such as predicting the future and the power of flight.

In Act 1 Scene 1 Shakespeare begins the play with the witches discussing when they should next meet.

He does this because he wants the audience to be curious about the witches, and what role they play.

We also see in this scene that the…show more content…

In Act 1 Scene 2 Macbeth fought bravely against the strong force of the Norwegian troops. When Duncan of Macbeth's bravery he confers on him the brave title "Thane of Cawdor" after the previous Thane of Cawdor was recently found a traitor.

Before this news reaches Macbeth, he meets the witches in Act 1 Scene 3.

In this scene, the witches are portrayed as "Instruments of darkness." In weather such as thunder, the witches are plotting to torment a sea captain who's wife insulted them.

Banquo described the witches as unearthly, ugly and wild as they have beards.

The witches make three predictions for Macbeth. They hail him as the Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King hereafter.

They also prophecies that Banquo's descendants will be kings but he himself will not.

The witches also make more predictions for banquo such as "Lesser than Macbeth, and greater" and "Not so happy, yet much happier" meaning he will be not so happy because he will have an early death, but he will be happier as he doesnt have to suffer wit the guilt of killing so many people.

When Banquo hears of the prophecies, he thinks that they are ridiclous and he doesn't believe or trust them as they came from witches and may be a trick leading to evil.

Banquo

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full title · The Tragedy of Macbeth

author  · William Shakespeare

type of work  · Play

genre  · Tragedy

language  · English

time and place written  · 1606, England

date of first publication  · First Folio edition, 1623

publisher  · John Heminges and Henry Condell, two senior members of Shakespeare’s theatrical company

tone  · Dark and ominous, suggestive of a world turned topsy-turvy by foul and unnatural crimes

tense  · Not applicable (drama)

setting (time)  · The Middle Ages, specifically the eleventh century

setting (place)  · Various locations in Scotland; also England, briefly

protagonist  · Macbeth

major conflicts  · The struggle within Macbeth between his ambition and his sense of right and wrong; the struggle between the murderous evil represented by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and the best interests of the nation, represented by Malcolm and Macduff

rising action  · Macbeth and Banquo’s encounter with the witches initiates both conflicts; Lady Macbeth’s speeches goad Macbeth into murdering Duncan and seizing the crown.

climax · Macbeth’s murder of Duncan in Act 2 represents the point of no return, after which Macbeth is forced to continue butchering his subjects to avoid the consequences of his crime.

falling action  · Macbeth’s increasingly brutal murders (of Duncan’s servants, Banquo, Lady Macduff and her son); Macbeth’s second meeting with the witches; Macbeth’s final confrontation with Macduff and the opposing armies

themes  · The corrupting nature of unchecked ambition; the relationship between cruelty and masculinity; the difference between kingship and tyranny

motifs  · The supernatural, hallucinations, violence, prophecy

symbols  · Blood; the dagger that Macbeth sees just before he kills Duncan in Act 2; the weather

foreshadowing · The bloody battle in Act 1 foreshadows the bloody murders later on; when Macbeth thinks he hears a voice while killing Duncan, it foreshadows the insomnia that plagues Macbeth and his wife; Macduff’s suspicions of Macbeth after Duncan’s murder foreshadow his later opposition to Macbeth; all of the witches’ prophecies foreshadow later events.

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