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The role of the witches

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The role of the witches William Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth, the Scottish play, in 1606. He wrote it for King James 1st who had a fascination with witches and the supernatural. "Macbeth" is based on actual events in the history of Scotland. It is said that it is unlucky to say "Macbeth" when it is performed. Around the 16th and 17th century people had an obsession with witchcraft. Witches were thought to have unbelievable powers; predicting the future, flying and killing animals with diseases. Elderly women who were single or who lived with animals were in constant danger from misogyny. People who were considered witches were punished in barbaric ways; they were hung or burnt at the stake. Witches were said the wear ragged looking clothes, but actually they wore clothes from that era. ...read more.


Hearing all three prophesies, it affects his relationship with Macbeth as he knows what Macbeth is going to do. Banquo does not trust Macbeth anymore because he feels he does not know the real Macbeth. The witches also influence Lady Macbeth as Macbeth had written the letter so Lady Macbeth was encouraging Macbeth to fulfil the prophesies. The way Lady Macbeth is shown in the play shows that she controls Macbeth's actions. She can manipulate Macbeth's self-esteem by playing on his manliness and bravery. Although Macbeth has the final say, he loves Lady Macbeth and wants to make her happy. Different characters refer to the witches in different ways. Macbeth referrs to them as protection and they are his guides in life. Lady Macbeth thinks that they are a helping hand towards the future. ...read more.


He uses the language of everyday life. The witches talk to each other about where they are going to meet Macbeth. This scene takes place at the beginning of the play and it sets the scene of mystery and superstitions. In most of their other scenes they are talking to Macbeth, this sets a suspicious atmosphere. Most of the witches' scenes happen on a heath or in a deserted place. The scenes were set here because at the time the play was written; witches were hated so they hid away and were not seen. Also, with the scenes set in those places it is a completely different scenery from the rest of the play, which is mainly set outside or inside Macbeth's castle, inside or outside the palace or a field. In conclusion, the witches add a sense of mystery to the play. They impel Macbeth towards his destiny and have created a lasting impression on audiences for more than four centuries. ...read more.

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