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

The three witches in the tragedy Macbeth are introduced right at the beginning of the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The three witches in the tragedy Macbeth are introduced right at the beginning of the play. They recount to Macbeth three prophecies, that he will be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis and King of Scotland. These prophecies introduce Macbeth to ideas of greatness when he says, "Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more," and "This supernatural soliciting...But what is not." 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. This brings into the play idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. One can ponder if Macbeth ever had a chance of doing what was right after he met with the witches. It is however; more realistic to believe that Macbeth was responsible for his own actions throughout the play and in the end it was he who made the final decisions. The witches could foretell the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, but they cannot control his destiny. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that the witches themselves are wicked and are instruments of darkness, as they knew that 'something wicked' was coming. When Macbeth walks into the cavern and asks the witches what they were doing, the witches don't give him a straight answer, they just say, "A deed without a name." This shows that what they were doing was none of Macbeth's business. Macbeth comes to the witches to ask about his future and doesn't care if 'destruction sicken.' He is desperate because he is pleading the witches and this shows that the witches have power over Macbeth. When the witches shows him the apparitions, Macbeth is pleased with what he hears for he 'shall never be vanquished' and 'none of women born Shall harm Macbeth.' Macbeth's mind is overridden by greed and ambition, he becomes more and more evil so he doesn't think about what the prophecies truly meant. This shows that the witches are very influential once they have chosen their prey. When Macbeth wants to know whether 'Banquo's issues ever Reign in this kingdom' and the witches says, "Seek to know no more," this made Macbeth ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth is the one who made the final decision to carry out his actions. He made these final decisions and continued with the killings to cover that of King 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 chooses to murder Duncan. Macbeth, in the beginning had all of the qualities of a 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 witches prophesies, he is tempted and refuses to listen to reason from Banquo. When the second set of prophesies Macbeth receives begin to show their faults Macbeth blames the witches for deceiving him with half-truths. While the witches are not totally responsible for the actions of Macbeth, they are responsible for introducing the ideas to Macbeth, which in turn fired up Macbeth's ambition and led to a disastrous and unnecessary chain of events. 21st March 01 Much is made of Macbeth's ambition, but how much of Macbeth's downfall can be blamed on factors? Show in Act 4 Scene 1, how the witches' influence is felt ...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. What is the role of the witches in Macbeth?

    After the witches have told Macbeth his prophecies, Banquo begins to ask about himself and is told by the witches that he'll be lesser than Macbeth and yet much greater and that he'll be not so happy and yet he'll be much happier and that his children will be kings but he will not.

  2. Macbeth was led down to an inescapable road of doom by an outside force, ...

    The witches predicted, at the beginning of the play, that Macbeth would soon become the Thane of Cawdor and eventually the outright King. They tell Macbeth this, simply to ignite what would finally end up being a burning desire for success.

  1. Discuss the role of witches in Act 1 of

    "So withered, and wild in their attire" From the sentence "that look not like th'inhibitants o'th'earth, and yet are on't?" It can be interpreted that the witches are so inconsistent compared to humans that Banquo suggests that they are not of this world and is confused as to how such a being arrived upon the earth.

  2. Describe how the witches prophecies to Macbeth arefulfilled in the final Act of

    nearing another title, he wants to get the witches to clarify how they know such information. But they disappear. Macbeth and Banquo are walking along trying to come to terms with what they have just heard when one of the king's noblemen enters bringing the news of Macbeth's new honour as Thane of Cawdor.

  1. Analyse the rise and fall of Macbeth

    'When you durst do it, Then you were a man' I.vii, 49 He is taunted to such an extent that he is prepared to 'bend up each corporal agent to this terrible deed,' but when the deed is done he says - 'To know my deed twere best not know myself.'

  2. Explore the role of the witches in the play and there influence over Macbeth

    Some people believe in witches but most people don't. Act 1 scene 3 At the beginning of this scene there is thunder and the witches appear on the moor. They start talking and one of the witches says that she has been out killing swine.

  1. How do the first three scenes foretell the tragedy of Macbeth?

    An oxy-moron has been used in Act 1 scene 1; the witches say "When the battle's lost and won." This shows that the witches have prophesied what is going to happen to Macbeth. This is because the witches could be suggesting when they said this that Macbeth will lose many

  2. How Far do You Think it is True to Say that Macbeth is a ...

    the circumstance of fate, and of his being an instrument to the witches. The only talent that we do know of is his prowess on the battlefield; he is very good at killing people. This talent was not wasted though as he put his skill to good use in the furthering of his career as a tyrant.

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