• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

This essay aims to undertake a succinct look at the role of the Witches in the play Macbeth relative to stage performance and plot.

Extracts from this document...


Macbeth Coursework Macbeth is described as a play fit for kings. Its creation in the early 1600s by Shakespeare resulted in a theatrical extravaganza that still lives in the eyes of its loyal followers. This essay aims to undertake a succinct look at the role of the Witches in the play Macbeth relative to stage performance and plot. Shakespeare lived during the Jacobean and Elizabethan period. During this time the people saw witches as a potential threat to their lives. Witches were blamed for many misfortunes and disasters. Countless women who were suspected of taking part in witchlike activities were murdered by being burnt at the stake. King James, for whom the play Macbeth was written, claimed that some witches had raised a storm to try and drown him and then had built a wax figure of him to make him sick and die. This made the role of the witches in Macbeth very important. Portraying the witches as evil and as a danger to kings, Shakespeare pleased King James since he believed that witches were trying to harm him. The witches first appear in scene one, right at the beginning of the play. ...read more.


This makes Macbeth very worried. The prophecies spark off another idea for Macbeth. After meeting with the witches he begins thinking about murder and killing Duncan almost immediately and the line "My Thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical" makes the audience feel that Macbeth was already thinking this for a while before the witches suggest it to him, and that the Witches have only put his thoughts out into the open. Macbeth doesn't know that the Thane of Cawdor betrayed Duncan and he was know going to receive the title, Thane of Cawdor so when Ross and Angus come to tell him that he is know the Thane of Cawdor, he is very surprised because he says "...can the devil speak true?" This is very important because he know believes what the Witches are saying, and so he becomes more and more determined to become King. When he hears that he has become the Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth says "The greatest is behind", referring to the prophesies the witches made. He means that the greatest prophesy of all of them is still to come true because the other two already have. ...read more.


This happens in Act 5, scene 6 when Malcolm and his men approach Dunsinane camouflaged with boughs from the trees. Both this apparitions show the scheming and deceitful side of the witches. The last apparition is the one Macbeth understands completely. This one shows "...Eight kings; the last with a glass in his hand..." which all look like Banquo. He realizes that this means that Banquo's descendants will have the throne, not his. This apparition shows the audience that the witches do know how to predict the future, because what they said earlier to Banquo about his sons being king is true, and the witches' masters confirm it. The witches evil and devious nature makes Macbeth kill Duncan, Macduff's Wife and son and his close friend, Banquo. It is the witches fault that Lady Macbeth dies, because she dies out of guilt of killing Duncan. In the end it is finally evident that Macbeth's doings, because of what the witches ideas and encouragement made him do, gets him killed as well. While the witches alone, may not be the only cause of Macbeth's doings, they play the greatest part in firing up Macbeth's ambitions and encouraging him, indirectly, to do what he does. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amirah 10A ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Explore the Role of the Witchesin the play Macbeth.

    Shakespeare uses numerous special effects where the witches are concerned. This is especially true of the four scenes where the witches directly appear, scenes Act 1 Scene 1, Act 1 Scene 3, Act 3 Scene 5 and Act 4 Scene 1.

  2. Act 1 Scene 1 - Witch Dear Diary, ...

    is afraid of doing the dirty work that needs to go with it. Duncan isn't likely to die soon, so while he is fond of Macbeth , my dear husband will surely inherit the throne. This why I need to drain all the goodness out of him so that nothing will hold him back from fulfilling his destiny.

  1. Explore the role of the witches in 'Macbeth'. To what extent do they influence ...

    These special effects would have told the audience that the witches were supernatural beings because the special effects of this kind were not used on any other character than the witches. The witches cauldron also sinks into the floor in Act 4, Scene 1, which is another type of special effect that is used only on the witches.

  2. Macbeth was first performed in 1606 in front of King James I at Hampton ...

    His praise even comes from the King himself, calling him "valiant cousin, worthy gentleman." He seems to all intents and purposes as the perfectly loyal soldier, commanding the king's armies against their enemy, the Norwegians, and winning. The perfect soldier he seems, yet he has three main downfalls: his ambition, his imagination, and his love for his wife.

  1. Examine the role of the witches in Macbeth.

    This is shown when the witches say 'I come Graymalkin', 'Paddock calls' and 'Anon'. Some of the sisters say things that can be interpreted as being related to witchcraft, including 'that will be ere the set of sun'. This relates to witchcraft, as traditionally it was believed that witches performed magic at sunset.

  2. Macbeth - Women In The Play

    Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's ambition will be fulfilled if they become King and Queen. Lady Macbeth uses repetition of the word 'thou' to show that she is respecting Macbeth. She is flattering him with her respect to encourage him to do the murder.

  1. Macbeth - plot summary and review

    This is when she begins to see herself at her wickedest. As she knows if Macbeth becomes King she will be the queen and this is the main motive for her plot to kill the king. The idea of becoming Queen fills her with joy as she will have authority.

  2. Macbeth Essay Exam

    Hallucinations were a motif because they helped develop the main theme of ambition and power of suggestion. One of the hallucinations in Macbeth was a hallucination of a dagger covered in blood. The quote and meaning was already mentioned earlier in the essay.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work