“Double, Double, Toil and Trouble”: The Real Trouble in Macbeth Essay

“Double, Double, Toil and Trouble”: The Real Trouble in Macbeth Essay

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The Weird Sisters of Macbeth are controlling and manipulative; more so than it might seem. They are agents of evil and frequently associate with evil spirits, along with worshiping the malignant goddess of witchcraft, Hecate. The play Macbeth focuses on the demise of a once noble Scottish Thane named Macbeth through the power of chaos. The evil that continually plagues Macbeth throughout William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is ultimately caused by the influence of the three Weird Sisters through witchcraft, prophecy, and unseen influence, revealing that humans faced with forces beyond their control will ultimately descend into a state of chaos.
The three witches of Macbeth chant spells and cast charms recurrently in order to bewitch Macbeth so that he will throw the world into chaos. In the meeting of the witches before they first confront Macbeth, they quickly cast a charm when they hear him approaching: “The weird sisters, hand in hand, posters of the sea and land, thus do go about, about, thrice to thine and thrice to mine and thrice again, to make up nine. Peace! The charms wound up” (1.3.33-38). The purpose of the charm is to implant in him the seed of evil and wrongdoing. Macbeth is originally shown as a loyal, slightly violent Scottish Thane. This initial observation is contradicted later on when Macbeth’s head is filled with visions of murdering his beloved king, a thought which he profoundly dismisses as horrible and frightening. Act 1 scene 3 where the witches are talking amongst themselves thoroughly “enumerates the miseries [the Weird Sister] will unleash upon [Macbeth]…” (Spencer 1). The witches cast another powerful spell later on when Macbeth is about to visit them for a second time. They include many putrid ingredien...


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... of outside influence on humans through the Weird Sisters. The three witches have malicious intentions and fully employ their prophetic powers and witchcraft to tip the universe into chaos by exploiting Macbeth. Their ability to influence the characters of Macbeth indirectly also plays a role in how they achieve their purpose. Ultimately, it is perceived that humans are unable to endure the forces they cannot control, and will eventually be driven to a state of chaos.



Works Cited
Macbeth. The Folger Shakespeare Library. Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press., 1992. 15-17, 33, 53, 121, 125-126. Print.

Spencer, Diana Major. “What Has Gotten into You?” The Tony Award-Winning Utah
Shakespearean Festival. Southern Utah University. Web. 12 November 2009.

Pilkington, Elaine. “Macbeth and the Nature of Evil.” Insights 2004: 1.

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