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In What Ways and With What Effects Do the Witches Contribute To the Play?

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In what ways and with what effects do the witches contribute to the play? Written by Williams Shakespeare, the play Macbeth was designed to entertain those of the Elizabethan era; although it has succeeded its stay to modern day. One, however, cannot deny strong evidence of the beliefs held in the Elizabethan era coming out in the play, in particular that of witches. They appear only three times during the play but their influence, as well as their impact cannot is seen throughout the entire drama; their presence and purpose cannot be easily overlooked. Firstly, the witches are used to open the play. This would evoke the interest if the audience from the start. What is even more intriguing is the way the witches look. It is through Banquo that we get an image of the witches. ...read more.


In a similar way, the witches defy the expectation of women on the grounds of appearance, as although they seem to be women, at the same time they appear to be men. Banquo says in Act I, scene III, "You should be women, /And yet your beards forbid me to interpret/ That you are so". The witches can also be deemed the instigators and catalysts of the action. From their dialogue when the play begins, we know that there is a plot, which involves Macbeth. The second time they appear, we hear them chanting, which ends with "the charms wound up". So, it is apparent that they are going to causes something to happen, which we later find out is to evoke Macbeth's ruthless ambition. Then, the third time we see them in the play they act as catalysts. ...read more.


An example of the witches' rhythmic poetic speeches is: "Double, double, toil and trouble:/Fire burn and cauldron bubble". It would be of even more interest to watch the witches dance to this chant as they did on stage. The dramatic effects created by the witches, make the play the success it is. Shakespeare must be lauded for using the three weird sisters in such an illustrious manner. The witches act as the instigator/ cause of the tragedy and they are also used to entrance the audience; making them so intrigued, their attention is held throughout the play. They also add to the language and style of the drama and are used to bring out the symbolic aspects of the drama. It is needless to say the witches are the very backbone of the play; without them there would been tragedy, and this what the play Macbeth is about - the tragic end of Macbeth. ...read more.

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