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The Role of the Witches in Macbeth's Downfall

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Macbeth Essay This essay is about the role that the three witches play in Macbeth's downfall. They are responsible for some of the events but not on there own, because ultimately Macbeth is responsible for his own actions for he had his own free will and a choice about how to conduct his life. In this essay I will be looking at the historical concert of the play, How the audience responded to the witches dramatic appearance, How the witches help Macbeth to commit murder and how the 3 weird sisters called upon the evil powers by chanting in riddle and rhyme. I will also include a conclusion. King James the V1 was at the thrown. James enjoyed plays and believed in witches and witchcraft. King James was fond of the play "Macbeth" which was written in the 17th century by the best dramatist of his time William Shakespeare. Shakespeare partly based the play from "The history of Scotland" by Raphel Holinshed, but didn't just re-write the historical facts; he added many more dramatic scenes and made changes to the storyline. In Shakespeare's time a huge amount of people believed in witches and their powers. All over Europe hundreds of thousands of women where accused of witchcraft. They were tortured and evicted. ...read more.


I'll drain him dry as hay: Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his pent-house lid; He shall live a man forbid. Weary sev'n-nights nine times nine shall he dwindle, peak and pine: Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-tost. Look what I have. I believe that they were trying to control the weather, especially the winds. In those days only God was thought to have powers to control the weather. So the witches try to tell the audience that they were just as powerful as God himself was. The witches wanted to make the audience feel scared and tense of them, which is also what the people of the time felt for them. In other words they were trying to re-create the historical context. Macbeth was a loyal person to the King, he shows this by going to War for him and is willing to give his life, evidence of this is in the following quote " what he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won". Here Duncan is saying how Noble Macbeth is. When Macbeth meets the three weird sisters they give him three prophecies. These get him thinking about his future and also they awaken his ambitious and selfish side. ...read more.


Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hands? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red". Macbeth goes to see the three witch's again because his three prophecies have come true and he wants know how they know "I conjure you, by that which you profess- Howe'er you come to know it-answer me: Though you untie the winds and let them fight against the churches; though the yesty ways confound and swallow navigation up; though bladed corn be lodg'd, and trees blown down; though the castles topple on their warder' heads; though palaces do slope their heads to their foundations; though the treasures of natures Germens tumble all together, even til destruction sicken- answer me to what I ask you". They don't give Macbeth a straight answer, they ask him a question "Her nine farrow; grease that's sweaten from the murderer's gibbet, throw into the flame---Come, high or low; thyself and office deftly show---Tell me, thou unknown power, ---He knows thy thought: hear his speech, but say thou nought---Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff the thane of fire. Dismiss me. Enough". This shows that the witch's are calling upon the evil sprits they serve, in the first apparition with represses his dead with Macbeth is unaware of because they are twisting there words to confuse Macbeth. ...read more.

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