Explain Why the Roles of the Three Witches Are so Important to the Development of the Plot of Macbeth.

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, Macbeth of Scotland Pages: 2 (480 words) Published: April 26, 2012
The three witches that are introduced at the beginning of the play are responsible for the introduction of the ideas that caused Duncan’s death and Macbeth’s destruction but not for Macbeth’s actions themselves. They hail Macbeth as three things: 1) Thane of Glamis 2) Than of Cawdor, and 3) King. Macbeth is already Than of Glamis, but when Duncan makes him Thane of Cawdor as well, he begins to believe the rest of the prophesy could come true and that he could be king. The witches could predict the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, but they cannot control his destiny. He chooses that for himself (and is influenced by his pushy wife). He “chooses” to murder Duncan. When he becomes overcome by the guilt of this, he “chooses” to follow up by killing Banquo and McDuff’s family. He is not forced to by the witches. The witches make him believe that he is invincible, so that he fights even when he knows that it would mean his doom. Macbeth’s downfall was foreseen and perhaps planned by the weird sisters, but it was Macbeth’s own free will that leads him to it. In the Shakespearean play, mystic beings and forces played an important role. Essential among the supernaturals were the Three Witches. Without the witches and their predictions, the life of Macbeth might not have been skewered off course to the dark side. Macbeth might not have headed down such a bloodied road that took the entire Scottish nation down with him. That journey into murder, misery, and madness began with the interfering of the witches into Macbeth’s life. Macbeth worked hard and liked to be appreciated for his good work. The witches appealed to that desire for recognition and reward. They knew how to make Macbeth feel that the appreciation was his by right. It was their witchy predictions that brought to the surface, and made leading, Macbeth’s deadly, sad flaws of powerful goals and inflexibility. The witches set up the motif of “fair is foul, and foul is fair” in the play...
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