Top-Rated Free Essay

witches in macbeth

Good Essays
Topics: Macbeth
Double, double, toil, and trouble
In many pieces of literature, there is always something or someone that makes the story interesting, and plays some significant part. In the case of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, this role is played by the witches. Without them, Macbeth would have been quite a boring play. Although they are fun characters, the witches do fill in the plot line, and help the story to progress. As mentioned above, the witches help to move the plot along, for without them, macbeth would never have become the monster he did. Before Macbeth even met the wierd sisters, they planned to meet him. Beginning the play, “when shall we three meet again. In thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battles lost and won. That will be ere the set of the sun. where the place? Upon the heath. There to meet macbeth” (shakespeare I.i.1-6). The witches add an air of mystery to the play, for they knew while the war was waging, that Macbeth would survive. When the wierd sisters meet Macbeth for the first time he is traveling, and they give him three titles. Claiming, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor. All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thou shalt be king hereafter!”(I.iii.48-50). With this information, Macbeth is pursuaded by Lady Macbeth to kill the king and make the witches prophecy come true sooner. Giving Macbeth his future however, got the witches into trouble with Hecate who is the head witch. Hecate does not like Macbeth, so she changes his future. Hecate tells the witches that “he will spurn fate, scorn death, and bear his hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear: and you all know, security is mortals’ chiefest enemy”(III.v.30-33) and is away. While Hecate tells the witches to not speak to Macbeth, they follow her instructions and change his fate. As one of the most memorable lines in the play, the witches dance, singing “double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble” (IV.i.10-11) and tell macbeth his new future. This is the last time we see the witches, and they become unforgettable. The witches in a round a bout way, cause King Duncan to die, and countless others, adding the tragic element to this shakespearean play. Without the witches, the play would have spanned a broader time period, and been less exciting.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Witches In Macbeth

    • 1039 Words
    • 5 Pages

    What Was the Witches' Role in Macbeth? In Shakespeare's time, many people were superstitious; they believed that that their lives were strongly influenced, if not dictated by fate. They also thought that the world was full of supernatural creatures, such as witches, ghosts, and many other such beings. Shakespeare incorporated these aspects of belief in his play Mac Beth. The witches, although accurately predicting what would occur, i.e., Mac Beth would be king, they did not specify how their…

    • 1039 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Witches In Macbeth

    • 222 Words
    • 1 Page

    The Witches Role The Witches are often cited at the catalyst for all evils in the play. The Witches have an important effect on Macbeth. The Witches are able to manipulate Macbeth's actions and in turn affect the events in the drama. The Witches play as the initial and direct cause, they highly influence him in his accomplishments and awake his ambitions, and they give Macbeth a false sense of security. The responsibility lies on The Witches instead of on Macbeth for his own actions. First…

    • 222 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Witches In Macbeth

    • 565 Words
    • 3 Pages

    It has been heavily debated whether or not the Witches in William Shakespeare's play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, represent Macbeth’s desires or if they manipulate him to do their bidding. The belief that the Witches implanted the thought becoming king, and killing Duncan in Macbeth’s head is more accurate because of the following: he had not thought of the probability of being king, he is too kind, he doesn’t have the malice to spark his ambition, he holds the king to very high esteem, and killing…

    • 565 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Witches In Macbeth

    • 2244 Words
    • 9 Pages

    THESIS: It is said that whilst William Shakespeare was writing his famous tragedy Macbeth, he consulted several witches for actual incantations to use in the dialogue. The witches themselves were opposed to the manner in which Shakespeare portrayed them in the script, so they placed a curse on the play. Ever since, there have been many recorded accidents and tragic occurrences in the making and performance of Macbeth. Are these happenings a matter of circumstance or was the tale of Shakespeare’s witch…

    • 2244 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The witches in Macbeth are very important in the plot and develop certain aspects of the play. They make greater the theatrical experience with images of darkness, thunder and lightning that make Macbeth the tragedy it is. Their actions also add to the play, dancing round the cauldron and chanting ‘Double, double…'. Their appearance as ‘dark hags' adds mystery to the play. The witches also add a sense of evil and of the supernatural. Their chanting, ‘Double, double, toil and trouble: Fire burn…

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 1051 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    and it is said by the witches from Shakespeare's play Macbeth. This PostSecret that I’ve made demonstrates who my character is, as witches do not like humans as it is described in Act 1, scene 3 when the sailor’s wife is eating chestnuts and the witch describes her as a “rump-fed ronyon” (I,iii, 8), which is quite insulting. This shows that the witches are cruel to humans as they use negative connotations and hurtful language to describe humans. The reason why the witches feel that they’re enjoying…

    • 277 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. When we first see her, she is already plotting Duncan’s murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder.This theme of the relationship between gender and power is key to Lady Macbeth’s character.Lady Macbeth and also the witches are crafty women,who use female methods of achieving power—that…

    • 757 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    THE WITCHES MACBETH The witches known as the “weird sisters” in Macbeth are present in only four scenes in the play. But Macbeth’s fascination with them motivates much of the play’s action. The witches First appear with thunder and lightning give us the atmosphere of the play. Shakespeare used a number of devices to create a sense of otherness and malevolence for the Macbeth witches. For example: The Macbeth witches speak in rhyming couplets which distinguishes them from all other characters in…

    • 694 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Witches’ Way SShakespeare use which looking at metaphors and character reactions represents innocence and the natural—to demonstrate the corruption, and ultimately defeat, of the natural by the supernatural. Macbeth believes sleep is innocent. Later in the play the conquering of sleep establishes the theme of the supernatural over the natural. With this theme in mind, it is possible to make sense of a seemingly random story added by the witches. In the end, the witches conquer the natural…

    • 998 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays