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The Importance of the Three Witches in Macbeth

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Introduction

May 4th 2012 Harris Macbeth paper 2.0 Macbeth is a tragedy that was written by Shakespeare in the early 17th century. The play has impacted theatre around the entire globe, many writers have been inspired by Shakespeare?s play. The play was performed in the Globe Theatre in the early 17th century. The play is multidimensional, and every portion serves some significance. The witches play a major role in the play; they represent a continuation in major literary works, they represent the cultural values of the Victorian age, and they represent the weaknesses of humans. As stated earlier the witches represent continuity in major literary works through the centuries. First there are three witches, and often times they speak in reference to three. The first line of the play displays this ?When shall we meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?? (I.i.1-2). The number three has been important to literature ever since the first major Western works, such as the bible. ...read more.

Middle

Similarly the witches speak in paradoxes, and equivocations. ?Fair is foul, and foul is fair? (I.i.12). The last major continuity the witches represent can be seen through their ruler. Hecate the Goddess of darkness ruled the witches. Hecate was a Greek goddess and people in the Shakespearean age would not have worshipped her, however she was included in the play. Furthermore the witches in Macbeth also epitomize the cultural ideals of the Victorian age. Literature is often a product of its environment. Macbeth has been no different. ?Witchcraft? was a major part of life during the Victorian age. Many women were executed for being witches, because their ideas were not supported by the conservative Victorian philosophy. People believed that witches had supernatural abilities. The witches in Macbeth had supernatural abilities. First, they could predict the future. Second, the witches have control over the natural order. ?I?ll give thee a wind? (I.iii.11). This quote comes from the second meeting of the witches. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth is absolutely no different, once he learned that Macduff was going to be the cause of his, he went out of control. ?The castle of Macduff I will surprise, Seize upon Fife, give to th? edge o? th? sword His wife, his babies and all unfortunate souls. That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool. This dead I?ll do before this purpose cool (IV.i.151-155). The witches clearly exploited human nature. They scared Macbeth by showing him who would kill him, ironically in his attempt to prevent fate he only brought it closer to him. His fears became self-fullfilling prophecies. In the end, he was the only person to blame for his death. In conclusion the witches were revolutionary, and they were historical at the same time. The witches were key to the plot structure because they brought about action. The witches have made this a play that has been very important globally. The play was extremely well though out. When analyzing the play we can see that even seemingly insignificant matters have greater significance. ...read more.

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