Role of the Witches in Macbeth

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Macbeth is a play about morals and how people can be easily influenced. The audience at the time when the play was written were more superstitious than we are. They believed in witches and thought that they were the devils disciples. They were believed to be able to control the weather, blamed many things, such as outbreaks of disease on them.
The first people to meet the Witches are Banquo and Macbeth. They find the witches appearance is vile. We can see this as Banquo says that “(they) look not like the inhabitants of the earth.” This shows us that the witches are obviously strange, and probably misshapen in their appearance. Banquo also says that “(they) should be women, and yet (their) beards forbid me to interpret, that (they) are so.” This simply tells us that they are obviously meant to be women, yet they have beards.
The Witches are obviously meant to be evil. Witches at Shakespeare’s time were seen in very bad light. In all their scenes in the play they do extremely evil things. The fact that there are three of them also promotes them as the devils trinity. In their first scene, and the very first scene of the play, their penultimate line is “fair is foul and foul is fair,” a paradox that suggests that the whole moral order of the world has been turned on its head. Then in their next scene, before Macbeth and Banquo arrive, they tell each other of the evil that they each have committed while they have been away. One witch, for instance, has been killing livestock “Killing Swine”; while another has wrecked the ship of a man whose wife didn’t give him any chestnuts from her bowl (act 1, sc. 3, lines 3-25). In the potion in the final scene with the witches, they use many ingredients which would, at Shakespeare’s time, been considered evil and many would still be regarded in the same way today. These include “poisoned entrails,” “eye of newt,” “lizards leg,” and “tooth of wolf.” They also destroy buildings which would be perceived as belonging to God, such

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