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The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in Macbeth

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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.


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.


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.

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