• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in Macbeth

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in Macbeth Witchcraft in the 17th centaury was frowned upon by the church as a result witches were feared and loathed in the community. Many people thought that they were directly connected to Lucifer (the devil). Their evidence of this was that the devils familiars came up from hell and drank the witches blood from devil spots (moles or birthmarks), in return for this blood he would grant them special powers such as the ability to fly, foul crops or kill at a glance. As a result of this propaganda created by the church thousands of innocent people were tried as witches and burnt at the stake. To be in a 17th centaury audience and have witches appear on stage would be terrifying and cause a genial reaction of shock and disgust. Also the king of the time James the first had an interest in witchcraft specifically the torture of witches. He even wrote a book demonology which listed all the horrible means in which to torture a confession out of them. So adding this to the play may have been Shakespeare's way to please the king. ...read more.

Middle

One of them says that see has been killing swine and there is a distinct air of pleasure in her voice. This gives a reaction of disgust and horror to any audience. Another of the witches has been denied chestnuts by a sailors wife and so was going to as a form of revenge forever tempest toss her husband so he will be forever kept awake by an eternal storm and never able to return home. In the production I saw them use a rope as a visual aid to represent in my opinion the sea as they tossed the rope the sea tosses as the rope does, or the rope could have signified a union of there powers all coming together in hatred. This whole scene demonstrates there glut for revenge and there incredible power giving them a hold over nature itself. After this a witch cries that Macbeth is coming they then meet with him and tell him that one day he will be king they then tell Banquo him he will be lesser than Macbeth and greater. After confusing us some more they vanish into thin air Macbeth reacts in fear almost, to which Banquo replies "look how are partners rapt". ...read more.

Conclusion

Again more confusion as this means that at some point Macbeth is going to be defeated. The witches then dance and say that they must cheer his spirits almost mockingly they then vanish. In the production the apparitions appeared in the air as giant flouting holograms I thought that this was very effective as it provided visual stimulus to the sound. At the end of the production that I saw they added an extra scene where after Macbeths death the witches stand and point at Fleance, as if to say that he will be next in there makings of mischief. This raises the question of how much the witches are to blame for the whole proceedings , I believe that the witches are not completely to blame and are infant just a catalyst as they never actually told Macbeth to kill the king they just gave him a prophecy of what might happen but his ambition was to great and his impenitency to have what was promised, as Banquo said "The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Macbeth essays

  1. Macbeth - Act 4 Scene 1: Discuss the Dramatic Potential in this scene.

    However if Shakespeare had done this, the play wouldn't have been successful. The other ingredients, however, would have seemed very horrible to the audience. As the audience already believed in witches, they would have begun to grow scared about, what the witches were going to do.

  2. Trace the Development of Macbeth's Character in Act One

    Therefore when she hears of his change of heart she dopes not approve: "Was the hope drunk Wherein you dressed yourself?" This personification and metaphor of hope helps the audience to visualise that Macbeth's ambition of becoming king has died down.

  1. By considering the soliloquies, analyse how Macbeth's character changes as the play progresses.

    "My Genius is rebuk'd, as it is said Mark Antony's was by Ceasar."(Act 3, Scene 1, Lines 54 and 55) This quotation reveals how Macbeth sees himself as a genius and also compares himself to previous great emperors such as Mark Antony.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the witches in an interesting and dramatic way?

    James I, the king of England and Scotland at the time of the play and the patron of Shakespeare's playhouse, had very strong feelings on the topic of witches. It almost lead him into insanity, and much of his paranoia was reflected in the church's' mass witch-hunting sprees.

  1. Discuss the role of witches in Act 1 of

    Shakespeare's special effects comprised of primitive stage effects. They used simple theatrical devices to display the magical powers of witches as well as other actions. Usually, the most effortless was the act of vanishing, which involved simple actions. Vanishing was displayed by the witches covering their faces with a veil or a cloth, which explained to the audience

  2. Macbeth - Do the witches heighten the dramatic impact of the play?

    Today witches and witchcraft are viewed as a fable or a myth because people today are not as inept as people were in the time Macbeth was first performed, also there is not a lot of media attention on witches and witchcraft as there was in Macbeth's time.

  1. Explore the dramatic effectiveness of Act 1, scene iii in presenting Macbeth's predicament.

    the world upside-down and spread evil across the world as though it is a great thing this also gives the idea that he is aligned with the witches, who are evil, so therefore making the audience think Macbeth is evil.

  2. 'Macbeth is full of highly dramatic scenes. Choose two scenes and explore how Shakespeare ...

    The supernatural plays a very important part of the play and it is a questionable statement that it was fully to blame for Macbeth's downfall. The riddles in which the witches speak the predictions give the audience something to ponder upon throughout the play.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work