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The witches in 'Macbeth' represent a world of cruelty, war and darkness, where power abounds and controls the material world.

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Introduction

The witches in 'Macbeth' represent a world of cruelty, war and darkness, where power abounds and controls the material world. The storyline develops each time the witches appear, but it's never for a good cause. Every time the witches arise there is a change in the play, for instance; appearing in bad weather such as, thunder, lightning and rain clearly indicates that they have evil thoughts within them. The audience will know that the witches are dangerous and extremely evil minded. The witches had a huge impact on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; they simply explained what was going to happen, which was that Macbeth and his wife were to become king and queen. This, as a result awakened their expectations therefore freeing them to make their ambitions reality. Shakespeare begins this play with the witches in order to create a sense of dramatic tension; to engage and horrify the audience; and to prepare them for what is still yet to come. The atmosphere set here will be extremely wicked because in those days witches were known as highly volatile and devilish. The witches' appearance therefore, tells the audience that something will go wrong during this play. The witches' role here is to demonstrate to the audience their evil power. For example, in Act 1 Scene 3 one of the witches reply to Macbeth, 'When shall we meet again, thunder, lightning or in rain?' ...read more.

Middle

Even if Macbeth didn't meet the witches before this scene, I believe that he still would have behaved in this manner. When he was told that he was to become king, he reacted as if he already thought about being king; he straightaway asks to know more which clearly shows his ambitiousness. Therefore, knowing the predictions he must have considered committing murder, but probably agonised over whether to do something which he knew was wrong. However, Macbeth soon comes to terms and decides not to kill the king, and Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's 'partner of greatness' begins to use her strengths on him, 'When u durst do it, then you were a man; and to become more than what you were, you would be so much more the man'. This affects Macbeth a great deal as he was supposed to a soldier and the fact that his wife is saying it is rather intimidating. She emotionally blackmails him in many ways just to get her way. She also proves her love for him by using the example of dashing the brains out of their children, 'She pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash'd the brains out' She says this to show Macbeth what she would do for him, and in return she wants him to kill Duncan. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's as if he is implying that he cannot escape hell because he has betrayed god. In Macbeth's mind everything is the witches fault, we know this because he says that 'they have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly'. I absolutely disagree with that because Macbeth had several options, he did not have to turn to murder. The witches just predicted the future; they did not say or even give the idea of killing Duncan. If the witch's predictions were true he would have become king without killing Duncan and quite clearly he believed the predictions, only he decided with his own free will to murder Duncan. The whole idea was his no one had anything to do with it. The witches did not tell him to murder Duncan they just predicted what would happen. The witches represent horror, darkness and evil throughout the play. Their importance in terms of plot is to cause havoc and disaster in Scotland and so they did. The witches awakened Macbeth and his wife's expectations to become royalty that is the most important effect the witches had on them. Shakespeare wants us to learn that sometimes things that appear fortunate can really be a disguise. He wants us to know that ambition can lose you everything, he is pointing out the dangers of unchecked ambition because in the end everything will be worthless. Macbeth assignment Explore the dramatic significance of the witches in the play Macbeth NASIR HUSSAIN 10.8 ...read more.

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