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The role of the witches in Macbeth 1:1 and 1:3

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Edward Boal 12RJ : English Essay : Macbeth Realization of a Shakespeare Text The role of the witches in Macbeth 1:1 and 1:3 Many forms of imagery are used in Macbeth. In scenes one and three the imagery used is built around the presence of the witches. Each detail in this imagery, it seems to me, contains an important symbol of the play, and symbols that we must understand if we are to understand either the passage it is in, or the play as a whole. In any instance, Macbeth's imagery is used cleverly and aids the plot and creates the right atmosphere for the occasion. The Three witches in the tragedy Macbeth are introduced right at the beginning of the play. They recount to Macbeth three prophesies. That Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis and King. This prophesies introduce Macbeth to ideas of greatness. Macbeth will eventually follow through on killing king Duncan. It was sometimes thought that the witches had the ability to reverse the natural order of things. ...read more.


In the video of Macbeth, there is a fog and the sky is a dark crimson red colour also aiding the plot. This red sky is also used in further scenes to indicate battle. Also their location as shown in the directions is that they are in an open place which also helps to make the scene more eerie. The constant noise of howling wind in the background and the sharp high pitched sound when the camera turns on the witches are another components - no detail has been left out. Even here, there language also shows that they are corrupt "Fair is foul and foul is fair" showing that the good and the bad are confused; there is an evil influence. The next appearance of the witches is in scene three when they meet upon the heath as arranged in scene one. The first witch tells a tale - she saw a sailors wife eating chestnuts, she ask for them and she refused so she cursed the sailor so as his ship would be tempest-tossed. ...read more.


He finds it hard to understand how these unnatural corrupted looking beings dwell on the earth. Going on, we are told they have skinny lips and Banquo finds it hard to see them as being women because their beards forbid it. Their long, ragged, dirty tunics drape over their backs also adding to the scene. They greet Macbeth and inform him that he will become Thane of Cawdor and also King of Scotland. Macbeth stands stunned by these prophesies while Banquo insists they inform him of his future. He is told that although he will not be King, his offspring will be. Eventually Macbeth recovers from his trance and insists that the witches explain how they know these things, but the witches vanish as quickly as they came. I think that the interpretation of the atmosphere from the book to the film worked well. They have remained close to the text and the stage directions as well as adding more to the atmosphere to make it more like a gripping film. It shows well how the setting, movements, costumes, sounds, visual effects and lighting all come together to create the atmosphere surrounding the presence of the witches and the plot. ...read more.

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