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'What do you learn about the Witches' aims in showing him the things they do? What kind of effect do various Apparitions have on Macbeth's state of mind?

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Introduction

ENGLISH. Anna Warner, 9CMG. TASK 2 'What do you learn about the Witches' aims in showing him the things they do? What kind of effect do various Apparitions have on Macbeth's state of mind? In the beginning of act 4 scene 1 Macbeth has already decided that he needs the advice of the weird sisters. Before he arrives, the three witches prepare a suitably grotesque mixture in their cauldrons. Many of the ingredients in the cauldron are associated with danger, evil or poison. Animal imagery has also been used. Some examples would be a' fillet of a fenny snake,' and 'an Adder's fork '. Snakes and serpents have been often thought of and used to symbolise evil for thousands of years. The serpent was also the evil creature who tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit; therefore these characters were deliberately used to help create an evil mood. Some other ingredients were used to create the same affect : Scale of dragon. ...read more.

Middle

profess- How'er you come to know it-answer me: though you untie the winds and let them fight/ Against the churches...Of nature's germens tumble all together, /Even till destruction sicken-answer me /To what I ask you.' These words show you that Macbeth is obviously desperate if he is willing to let the world be destructed; for the winds to fight against the churches, let waves stop navigation at sea, let un-ripened corn be blown flat and trees be blown down. To let castles topple onto their warders' heads, and pyramids and palaces collapse, and let all natures seeds of creation be destroyed. At this point in the play Macbeth's state of mind is already obviously deteriorating. When the first apparition appears it brings a warning 'Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth: beware Macduff.' The apparition is an armed head, Macbeth is alarmed by this warning, and realises the necessity to be aware of Macduff. The second apparition appears as a bloody child and says 'be bloody, bold and resolute; laughter scorn/ The power of man for none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Start, eyes' which means let my eyeballs fall from their sockets. Macbeth clearly does not want to see any more kings, and when he sees Banquo with hair clotted with blood he exclaims 'horrible sight!' Banquo smiles at Macbeth and points towards the kings as if to say these decendants of mine are to follow. The Witches disappear and Macbeth returns to reality. He is angry and annoyed at himself for trusting them 'infected be the air where on they ride;/And damn'd all those that trust them' The effect of the series of apparitions upon Macbeth, as discussed above cause him, at the end of this scene, to take Evil one step further; he will slaughter the Thane of Fife's family; he is now a treacherous and disturbed character determined to murder his way to keep the throne; Macbeth exclaims: 'The castle of Macduff I will surprise; Seize upon Fife; give to the edge of the sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool; This deed I'll do before this purpose cool.' By Anna Warner. ...read more.

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