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Macbeth is a very famous play, written in the 17th century, by a well-known playwright, William Shakespeare. I chose this question because there are lots of different ideas in the play it can relate to, for example the witches, Lady Macbeth, fate, and oth

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Introduction

Macbeth is a very famous play, written in the 17th century, by a well-known playwright, William Shakespeare. I chose this question because there are lots of different ideas in the play it can relate to, for example the witches, Lady Macbeth, fate, and other supernatural forces. The witches could be said to be the most crucial characters in Macbeth, as they are not main but recurring and if they hadn't told him the prophecy it wouldn't have come true. They embody many of the classical elements of evil and witchcraft. Although they are not at any point described in the play, Macbeth and Banquo in their speech make references to the witches' "wild attire", "choppy lips", and the fact that they "look not like inhabitants of the earth, and yet are on 't". All these together create a typical picture of a witch in the readers' or audiences' minds. There are many other forms of imagery about them that subconsciously make us think of them as more evil - for example there are three of them, representing the power of three, and when they speak it is in riddles and rhymes - either smoothly following on from each other or in unity. ...read more.

Middle

She accuses them of telling people things that they shouldn't concern themselves with, and says "Saucy, and overbold, how did you dare/ To trade, and traffic with Macbeth?" This gives the impression that things that people initially conceive as a higher power, witches, also have a higher power, and maybe Hecate has a higher power too - this shows that nothing is the highest, there is a natural order of things that never ends. Witches became increasingly persecuted in the 16th or 17th century to act as a scapegoat for crops failing and death etc. At first they were slightly unreal and not very close to the home, but then people started accusing others just because of a grudge and other petty reasons. The most suspicious people were old women who lived alone or with a cat, and gradually cats were seen as evil too, and as messengers from the Devil. They were originally perceived to be mysterious, terrible creatures with strong powers, and as the myths and folklore around them grew, their powers grew and fear around them grew. When they were "caught", they were subjected to horrible tortures until they "confessed"; sometimes the accused believed they were a witch, but often they wanted the torture to end. ...read more.

Conclusion

The witches & Lady Macbeth do make Macbeth these things, but in my view there is still something missing to make them pure evil. Lady Macbeth is the more evil, because she is closer to home being his wife, so she is more secretly evil and two-faced. The witches are just more random, because although they start off the whole thing you could argue that in the play it never says how they meant for him to use that knowledge. The witches are more mysteriously evil and scary because they are the most unknown-seeming characters, with no pretensions of who they are or what they do and why. The only reason for you having initial judgment of them is because schemy people like Lady Macbeth make you think they are bad. Macbeth changes the most during the course of the play, not only his personality but also his instincts, relationships with others ad his sanity. He changes because of many factors, mainly Fear, Guilt, Power and the influence of the evil characters. Overall, I think that Shakespeare did believe in pure evil and a higher power, and communicated this through the play in the characters Lady Macbeth and the witches, but I don't agree with his portrayal of pure evil because as I said before, there seems to be something missing. ...read more.

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