Discuss the role of the witches in macbeth essay

Here, the Sisters are already judged as evil so the audience wonders what will happen when they meet Macbeth. The second time, the Sisters appear is in Act I. It also anticipates the blurring of good and evil; fair is the opposite of foul but he sees the day as being both.

The day is fair because the crown was prophezised to him and foul because this prophecy is going to be his fall. Then, Macbeth does have ambition but the influence of the witches brings it out of him to take action, he cannot stop thinking of the Sisters — he has them always in his head. It seems as if the Sisters bewitched Macbeth.

Later on in the play, Macbeth himself refers to Hecate and witchcraft II.

Finally, if we assume that the familiar of the third Sister is an owl, there is a connection between this familiar with the murder of Duncan. This suggests that the supernatural is to blame; and the Sisters still influence the plot even when they are not directly involved.


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Another reference to the owl, or to the Sisters, is in Act II. This represents the Sisters influence on Macbeth and his actions. However, A. This is just as true of the later prophocies as of the first.

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This, in fact, is one of the most important arguments of those who hold the opinion that Macbeth is an individual and acts as a free agent. In addition, there is nothing strange or guilty in the words of the Sisters. Banquo takes over an important role at this point. The different response toward the Sisters is another issue which underlines the point that Macbeth is independent of the Sisters.

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They hail Macbeth deferentially and prophesy that great honours await him I. When Banquo asks to be told his fortune too I.

When the Sisters vanish, Macbeth wants to know more from them. He is fascinated by them and their message. Macbeth and Banquo subtly characterize themselves by selecting what they perceive of the witches. Therefore, how Bradley puts it,. Banquo, ambitious but perfectly honest, is scarcely even startled by them [the Sisters], and he remains throughout the scene indefferent to them. But when Macbeth heard them he was not an innocent man.

Can the Devil speak true? So, even after a warning of Banquo Macbeth commits the crime. Last, Macbeth already plans the murder of Macduff before meeting the Weird Sisters a second time, therefore, he alone is responsible for his deeds. Thus, everyone is responsible for his own destiny, This is an essential theme in this tragedy.

Macbeth Witches Essay

Macbeth chooses to gamble with his soul and when he does this, it is only him who chooses to lose it. He is responsible for anything he does and must take total accountability for his actions.


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  7. Macbeth is the one who made the final decision to carry out his actions and continued with the murdering to cover that of Duncan. The killing of Duncan starts an unstoppable chain of events in the play that ends with the murder of Macbeth and the suicide of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth, in the beginning had all of the qualities of an honourable gentleman who could become anything. This is all shattered when his ambition overrides his sense of morality.

    Although, Macbeth is warned as to the validity of the Sisters prophecies, he is tempted and refuses to listen to reason from Banquo. Shakespeare, Williams. William C. Bradley, A. The last apparition appears as a crowned child with a tree in its hand. The apparition tells him that Macbeth would not be defeated until Birnam Wood meets at Dunsinane Hill.

    During this meeting, the witches provide Macbeth with false security. Macbeth, believing that what the witches showed him would be true, now becomes over confident and cocky that he would remain as king.

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    Given that all men are born of women and that Birnam Wood, a forest, is not able to move to Dunsinane Hill, Macbeth feels practically invincible. Macduff retaliates by raising an army with the help of King Edward in an attempt to overthrow the bloody tyrant obsessed with his power. Macbeth at first feels confident about the war, given the reason that he thought he was practically invincible.

    Still, knowing that no man born of woman can harm him, Macbeth remains calm. Macbeth, realizing that the last prophecy came true and he was doomed to die, was still too mad with power to surrender it away to Macduff, and was slain. The witches were the difference makers in Macbeth. They gained trust from Macbeth, who visited them frequently, and affected how he behaved in this play. If the witches were never in this play, then Macbeth would never have been introduced to the idea of becoming king.

    He compares them to aliens from another planet, although they cannot be because they are on Earth. This is how Macbeth describes how the witches vanished into thin air. He compares the witches vanishing like his breath blowing away in the wind. This is what the first witch says to the other witches. Banquo asks the witches to look into the future and tell him if he will become king or not.

    The Role of the Witches in Macbeth Essay - Words | Bartleby

    Banquo has the most adjectives, similes and metaphors because he has the largest proportion of the speech and because his language seems to be the most obscure of the characters. There is great use of alliteration in the language of the witches which is the most noticeable.

    The most memorable part for me is when the first witch threatens the woman who refused to share her chestnuts because it shows you what short tempers the witches had. Shakespeare reverses the power so the witches are in control and not the common mortals. The Witches in Macbeth appear to be ethereal supernatural creatures. Even Banquo does not know if the witches are male or female;. The witches believed they had many powers including sailing out to sea in sieves and controlling the weather, as they mention prior to their meeting :. Before the Witches saw Macbeth and Banquo, the witches had predicted that they would meet Macbeth after the battle;.

    This made Macbeth feel excited at the prospect of becoming King and fuelled his avarice and ambition. When he was presented with the Apparitions , he misinterpreted the meanings which led subsequently to his downfall. This shows that Macbeth thinks he is immortal as no man born of a woman can harm him. Therefore he has no fear for his safety from Macduff.

    Again Macbeth believes he is invincible as there is no possible chance of the forest ever moving to his castle. However the most serious characteristic was that of being evil and malicious towards Macbeth. Share this Post!