The Witches: Catalysts of Terror in Macbeth

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The Tragedy of Macbeth has many elements that contribute to the overall theme and plot of the play; the leading antagonists of these elements are The Witches. Also known as “The Weird Sisters”, these characters inspire the central action of the play by disturbing Macbeth’s mental state and morality, influencing the creation of themes throughout the play, using their specific characteristics to spread an air of inevitability and terror, and finally, using their magic to disrupt other characters’ lives as well as stirring the audience’s emotions. Historical information is used throughout the play to make The Witches’ magic and reasons for doing so that much more terrifying. The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare uses The Witches to further critical components of the story; these characters make the play increasingly more terrifying because their actions reach to the audience’s emotions as they corrupt Macbeth and his principles, use historic evidence to alter the meaning of their actions, summon …show more content…

Apparitions were also involved in the telling of the story and helped to portray an eerie air. The Apparitions appeared in the first scene of the fourth act after being summoned by The Witches, “Come, high or low; / Thyself and office deftly show!” (4.1.71-72) As The Apparitions spoke to Macbeth about his future and his ultimate demise, the first witch warns Macbeth that the apparition can hear his thoughts so he should refrain from speaking to them, “He knows thy thought: Hear his speech, but say thou nought” (4.1.69-70). This warning gives off a feeling of fear and unpredictability that proves the supernatural world is beyond any human control or comprehension (Boyce 1). The Apparitions, along with The Witches, add a unique theme to the play itself, however, The Witches bring the theme to life at the beginning of the play and The Apparitions carry it through until the

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