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The importance of the three witches in Macbeth.

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English course work The importance of the three witches The witches, who are also known as the three sisters, play an important part in the play 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare. I will discuss what impact the witches gave to the Elizabethans and what impact it gave to the play. I will also discuss what the witches look like and their illusion on the stage and why James I was so scared of them. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth as a historical tragedy. Macbeth was a real king in Scotland for about 17 years but later he died because Malcolm (the son of Duncan) killed him after a battle. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth for king James I who ruled Scotland and England. James I was born on June 19th. In 1566 he because the king of England (1603-1625) but he was also known as James VI because he ruled Scotland (1567-1625). James was the only son of Mary queen of Scots so when she died James took over to be king. Queen Elizabeth was James' cousin and she died childless so James was made king James I. James was terrified of witches and felt threatened that witches would cast a spell on him. So he had every woman that was thought to be a witch burnt. ...read more.


line 29 Which introduces his entrance on stage and shows they can tell the future. When Macbeth enters he is with Banquo. Macbeth says 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen' Which means there was a foul battle (bad) and fair because they won the battle. This demonstrates a connection to the witches because this is similar to what they said at the start of the play. 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' (1,1) line 11 Banquo describes them as not being on earth 'That look not like th'inhabitants o'th' earth... ...That man may question' (1,3) line 41 They say a prediction for Banquo and Macbeth, they greet Macbeth as Thane of Cawdor and then hail him has king. As soon as Macbeth hears this he is shocked and amazed to hear that he has just been called king. Then the witches turn to Banquo and say his prediction. They say that his sons will be kings. Macbeth hears this and starts to get worried so he asks for more information but they disappear into thin air. This scene creates an atmosphere of evil and greed. We now have a feeling that Macbeth is going from good to evil because as soon as he hears that he is going to be king his mind turns to. ...read more.


and 'How now you secret black and midnight hags!' The first apparition is a head wearing armour and telling him to beware Macduff. The second apparition is a child covered in blood. It tells Macbeth that no one can harm him, 'born of a woman', but Macduff was ripped from his mothers' womb so Macbeth decides to kill Macduff. The last apparition is a child wearing a crown and holding a branch from Birnam wood. In the future they show eight kings including James I that this part of the play is made just for him. And this is the last of the witches in the play. Straight after this scene Macbeth orders that Macduffs castle should be attacked. Lady Macduff and her children are murdered. The language of the witches is very important it is nearly all in rhyming couplets with sort sentences and chanting. The witches use a lot of imagery and repetition. 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover though the fog and filthy air' (1,1) line 11 They speak in unison like in act 4 scene 1 when the Macbeth has come to meet them. 1 witch: Speak 2 witch: Demand 3 witch: We'll answer 1 witch: Say if th'hadst rather hear it from our mouths, Or from our masters. ...read more.

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