December 5th, 2012
The three witches
The fantastical and grotesque witches are several of the most memorable figures in the play. How does Shakespeare portray the witches both in the book, and in the movie? How are they important to the play?
Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare, Set in Scotland, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1607. It is considered one of his darkest tragedies. To most it is known as Shakespeare’s “cursed” play, for every time it is formally performed somebody within the cast either dies, or gets hurt. In the play the Scottish lord Macbeth chooses the evil road towards his goal, power. Three witches tell him that he is to be king, in order to make sure that this prophecy comes true Macbeth kills Duncan, the king prior to him. He then becomes king and conducts a sort of reign of terror to stay in power, eventually leading the country into a civil war. In the end, though a series of dark events he loses everything that gives meaning and purpose to his life before losing life itself.
The play starts when Macbeth, the main character goes into battle with the mentality of killing Macdonald, Thane of Cawdor for being a traitor. Having succeeded, Macbeth and Banquo head back home, and on the way back encounter three witches, three strange sisters, who greet Macbeth with, “Hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!“ (Pg. 333) and basically tell him that he will be great but Banquo will be greater. The witches tell banquo “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So, all hail Macbeth and Banquo.” (Pg. 334, Shakespeare) which means that Macbeth will be king, but Banquoe's hairs will become king after Macbeth but banquoe will never be king.
The witches in the play written by Shakespeare are seen as three very strange, and mysteriously freaky characters. They appear in bad weather, lightning, talk in riddles, and their appearance is somewhat inhuman for Macbeth...
Witches in original text Witches in BBC movie
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