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

What Contribution Do The Witches Make To The Play, “Macbeth”?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What Contribution Do The Witches Make To The Play, "Macbeth"? In the Sixteenth century people were a lot more sceptical about supernatural happenings. For instance the majority of Britain believed in witches and groups of communities searched and burned, drowned or hung anyone they suspected of being a witch. These groups had no way of proving if those suspected were witches or not. They just acted upon their instincts. A lot of these superstitions are included in "Macbeth" for instance when Lady Macbeth has fallen ill and has fallen into a trance and sleep walks, she has no awareness of the surroundings which suggests that she has been taken over by a darker force which was believed to be possible qualities of a witch. There are also many references to vision which witches were commonly known to have caused e.g. when Macbeth visits the witches and sees the apparitions: "What'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks; Thou hast harpend my fear aright. ...read more.

Middle

The witches also add theme and atmosphere to the play. Simply by being witches they scare and mystify the audience. Banquo talks about their looks in Act 1 scene 3: "How far is't called to Forres? What are these, That look not like the inhabitants of the earth, And yet are on it? - live you, or are you aught That man may question? You seem to understand me, By each at once her choppy finger lying upon her skinny lips; you should be women And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so." He really explains how ugly they are saying they should be women but they have beards, they look unearthly and have choppy (skinny and horrid) fingers, he can't seem to grasp that the witches are a combination of male and female characteristics, this speech I feel really adds atmosphere. The witches also add the opportunity of special effects with all the smoke and fog being present when they appear. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act 3, scene 2 the lines are placed in long lines because there is no need of panic and hurry. In "Macbeth" Shakespeare has his scenes all ending in rhyme to show that it is coming to an end of a scene, as there was no other way to let the audience know that the end of a scene was approaching: "Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may, The night is long that never find day." (Act 1 scene 3) The witches' behaviour is weird/ different as well as the way they shuffle and then disappear into thin air which obviously isn't normal "The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?" (Act 1 Scene 3 lines 76 - 78) In conclusion I don't think the witches contribute to the play "Macbeth", I think they create it, fuel it, keep it interesting and entertaining and I think Shakespeare knew this would be the outcome when he wrote it. Phillip Brown 11N English Coursework ...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. How can blame be apportioned in “Macbeth”?

    apparent sincerity and respect: "All our service In every point twice done and then done double, Were poor and single business to contend Against those honours deep and broad wherewith Your majesty loads our house." Her ability for deception also comes to the fore when she faints at the news

  2. Assessing the contribution of the supernatural in

    These two lines are a bit like each other in that they both refer to battles, one in the natural elements and the other between humans-the two become joined. The third witch then states the time of their meeting with Macbeth and Banquo, "ere the set of sun", and place,"upon the heath".

  1. What contribution do the Witches make to the play Macbeth?

    The Witches finish their scene on a rhyming couplet stating `fair is foul, and foul is fair, Hover through the fog and filthy air'. This informs us of the hatred the witches have for anything beautiful and harmonious and also presents a moral inversion.

  2. Beneath the visible action of the Play is a Pattern of imagery, which gives ...

    In act 4 sc1 the witches present to Macbeth three apparitions. Before they do this they create a spell in their cauldron. This involves adding vile and horrible ingredients to the mixture. As they add these ingredients they get more and more evil and disturbing, until it reaches the lowest

  1. Two Versions of “Macbeth” Act 5 Scene 1 (Sleepwalking Scene).

    She has seen a chance to make her husband king and is determined not to let it slip away. She asked evil spirits to " unsex me here" and for any natural feelings to disappear so she would not hesitate in carrying out the murder.

  2. What part do the witches and the supernatural play in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” ?

    They bring the power of evil because witches are notoriously evil throughout history and are generally associated with wrong doings. They bring idea of fate and destiny into the play because they alter Macbeth's destiny and put evil ideas into his head.

  1. How much can be said that “Macbeth” is a Horror Story?

    To begin with there are three witches, but the question must be asked, why was it three? I believe that there were three because it plays on the, "Holy Trinity." The Holy Trinity is where there are three powerful forces in one god and together they are almighty.

  2. Write about the creation of dramatic tension in act 2, scene 2 of “Macbeth” ...

    Whereas in the other two film versions Macbeth on the estate and the Jeremy Freeston version, Macbeth seems a lot weaker. This is because he shows a lot of feelings for Duncan after he commits the murder. At the start of the two films it shows Macbeth in a battle,

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