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The Witches' Prophecies in "Macbeth".

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Introduction

´╗┐The Witches Prophecies The three Witches, who have been introduced in the beginning of the play 'Macbeth', are responsible for the introduction of ideas which have been launched into Macbeth's mind. These predictions could trigger many events in this play. In Act I, Scene III, Banquo spots the Weyward Witches first and immediately says, 'not like th'inhabitants o'th'earth'. This goes to show, that he does not believe that these abnormal, strange-looking women live on the same planet that he does. This is emphasised by him expressing 'you should be woman and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so'. Banquo shows his intelligence by being able to speak instantly as well as being able to express his feelings unlike Macbeth who gets straight to the point and asks 'speak if you can: what are you?'. ...read more.

Middle

He is in such shock, that Banquo reacts quickly and speaks first. Banquo does not understand why Macbeth is disturbed. He believes that Macbeth should be happy with his predicted future. In fact, Banquo is so jealous of Macbeth and desperate that he asks the mysterious Witches 'to me you speak not... speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear'. The Witches third prophecy is 'lesser than Macbeth, and greater'. This means that the Witches are predicting that Banquo would be 'lesser' because he would keep the title, 'a Scottish Thane' whereas Macbeth would be promoted from 'Thane of Glamis' to 'Thane of Cowdor' and would become King 'hereafter'. However, Banquo would be 'greater' in the long run because he does not have the flaw of ambition. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth finally gets his ability back to speak and wants to find out more, 'tell me more'. He is once again confused and shows his ambition by wanting to find out where they got their information from. He wants to find out how long 'hereafter' is, if it is in twenty years or thirty years? The Witches supernaturally flee which is ironic as their aim is to play mind games with Macbeth. Both Macbeth and Banquo are very surprised that the Witches disappeared. They both believe that they might have dreamt or fantasised about it. Macbeth is both emotionally and physically effected. Macbeth seems like a very 'fair' and decent man but is twisted when the Witches predict his future. He apologises to Banquo 'come what, come may' when he realises his attitude was not right towards him. This ends Act I, Scene III in great suspense. ...read more.

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