Witches In Macbeth Analysis

1217 Words5 Pages
The Witches:
The three witches open ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ with their minute scene in Act One. Shakespeare starts the play by immediately introducing them as prophets. (“When shall we three meet again…” “…When the battle’s lost and won” “That will be ere the set of the sun”). They also set the tone of the play and introduce the audience to the theme by delivering one of Shakespeare’s most iconic dialogues- “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” A reference to the fact that appearances can be decieving. Macbeth who is seen as a valient and honourable gentleman in the beginning is a cruel and ruthless king in the end. Perhaps by that logic, the ‘foul’ witches are the sense of ‘fair’ play when it comes to Macbeth’s prophecies. In addition, the three
…show more content…
However, this prediction was not one that mentioned murder or foul play that Macbeth does ultimately use. The decision to kill was his own and the witches, although putting the idea in his head, cannot be blamed for his circumstances as they usually are. Thus our three ‘witches’ are the center of the ‘fate vs. free will’ debate that the play caters to. Right from the first page till their last appearance, this question remains unanswered and is a topic of heavy debate amongst scholars and philosophers even today. Thus these 3 marginalised sisters, only present for about 3 scenes in the whole play, having only placed the seeds of doubt in the protagonists mind, either through dementia or through actual prophecy are given part of the blame. This is done by increasing their villiany so that the audience ends up feeling a greater sympathy for the character of Macbeth when he degenerates into…show more content…
In addition to the importance of her role, the facination that audiences had with her character has led to later playwrites even adding to her role. Sir William Davenant, a 17th century poet and playwrite especially, added 4 extra scenes to his operatic adaptation of ‘Macbeth’ in order to better establish her character as a foil to that of Lady Macbeth’s. This, in my opinion, is the mark of great writing- when a marginalised character in a particular writer’s work has insipired a generation of new writers to further explore the character’s potential. As far as the representation of Lady Macduff goes in Shakespeare’s original ‘Macbeth’, there is not much context from which we can draw conclusions. All we know from the scene is that Lady Macduff is a fierce woman and mother. She her love for her children comes across blatently in the scene; so does the love she has for her husband, although that is masked by fury and her feelings of betrayal. She is a woman, unafraid to speak her mind, whatsoever be the consequences. She speaks out brazenly against her husband’s disoyalty to his family exclaiming “He loves us not!” She does not lose this quality even when faced with the murderers. She is, as far as we see in this scene, a strong willed woman with a clear-cut idea of where her loyalites lie and a sharp and candid tongue. She is considered to be, in
Open Document