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Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of the witches in Macbeth. How dramatically effective is the presentation-?

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English literature Assignment B Response to a Shakespeare play Title:- Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of the witches in Macbeth. How dramatically effective is the presentation-? You should consider:~ - Their function and importance in the play; - The dramatic methods used by Shakespeare to present the witches - The reactions of other characters - Audience reaction (Then and now) When Shakespeare was writing plays in the 17TH Century many people had strong beliefs in witches and other supernatural creatures. The play Macbeth is written for King James, he employed Macbeth to write plays and other forms of entertainment for him. Seeing that supernatural beings and witches were very relevant and to the fore in the 17th Century, Shakespeare's Macbeth would have interested King James and other audiences. Shakespeare includes the witches, as they are known to be a physical embodiment of evil in the play and around this period of time. The witches give the impression that they represent temptation, an example of this is when they (the witches) tell Macbeth he will become King, leading him on to carry out severe acts of evil. Witches were a representation of Supernaturalism and evil and it the 17th Century they didn't raise any questions over reality vs. ...read more.


Banquo sees that Macbeth is clearly bewildered from what the witches have stated. He says to Macbeth " Good Sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that sound so fair?" Banquo is displeased when he does not receive any prophecies from the witches and he poses them a question, saying "To me you speak not...............Speak then to me," The witches disclose to Banquo that his children will be Kings; at this point Macbeth is exceedingly bemused. We discover why Macbeth is so mystified for the Thane of Cawdor still lives, and Macbeth describes him as a "Prosperous Gentleman" who will be King. He asks the witches why the reveal these prophecies, but at this point, they vanish without trace. Banquo asks where have the witches vanished, and Macbeth is unsure but says "Into the air." Macbeth says to Banquo that his is Children shall be Kings but Banquo turns this on his head by stating almost the opposite. On the other hand Macbeth then agrees with Banquo saying " And Thane of Cawdor too; went it not so." When Ross and Angus enter, Ross tells him that Duncan has come to the decision of making him the Thane of Cawdor. ...read more.


The witches mock Macbeth with words similar to those Banquo exclaims at the start of the play. They say to him "Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?" The witches know how anxious Macbeth is and so they decide to dance and then vanish forever from the family. From reading the play we can see that without the witches and other forms of supernaturalism the play would pan out very differently. The witches decide what happens the whole way through the play, and they are responsible for the storyline in its entirety. The witches, throughout the play, cause characters to have many different reactions, some good, others leading to acts of evil. When Macbeth was written in the 17th Century it was directed at a 17th Century audience. Nowadays the play is still relevant in many people's lives, showing us that we should value life and not seek material goods. It is important that we know the witches were not the only form of supernaturalism, Banqos' ghost a prime example. Obviously, the colour, mood, language and characters (e.g. the witches) all contribute to making this play very effective dramatically. Conor Burns S2E Mr. Morgan ...read more.

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