There is also the supernatural element as the witches call up the evil spirits they serve at line 62. This ties in with other supernatural images in the play, such as when Macbeth sees the floating dagger before him before he murders Duncan. This supernatural image adds to the importance of the witches in the play. The witches also serve to develop our picture of Macbeth. In line 45, the witches, when they hear Macbeth knocking, say ‘Something wicked this way comes’.
Shakespeare contrasts wickedness with innocence to make the brutality of the play appear worse. It is clear from the start of the play that the witches are important, in just the first scene before they say anything the atmosphere is already set as evil. They meet on a moor in thunder and lightning, which grabs the audience's attention. These surroundings portray evil; the moor is lonely, barren and bleak, whilst thunder and lightning assist in creating a supernatural image to place the witches. The witches have short lines, which are written in rhyme making their words seem like a chant.
The first scene suggests that they are evil and are going to influence the rest of the play in some way. The witches even call them selves ‘‘weird sisters’’ which exemplifies the fact that they know they are evil and abnormal. When asked when the witches should meet next, one witch suggests
Evil In Women and Its Effect on Macbeth "...My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man that function Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is But what is not." (1.3.140-143). Throughout Shakespeare's play, we see that Macbeth is the victim of evil seduction by women. In the above quote the evil is perpetrated by the witches. Lady Macbeth also plays a strong role in his moral corruption.
Shakespeare's Presentation of the Witches in Macbeth The witches are a physical embodiment of evil in the play Macbeth. Like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, they represent temptation. The world of the witches is terrifying and their language full of spitefulness, violent and grisly references to mutilation. Banquo senses that they are evil and he is very mistrustful of them. Macbeth is tempted by their predictions, because they perhaps echo his own thoughts.
Consequently both eras were times of fear and turmoil. The witches reflect this; they create a threatening, and unsettling atmosphere and go onto exert a profound influence of the events of the play. Shakespeare also wrote ‘Macbeth’ at a time when belief in witchcraft was much stronger; their appearance on the stage would have had a powerful impact on the audience. That time people believed that the witches could fly and cast evil spells. King James I was also personally terrified of witches because he believed a group of them had raised a storm to drown to try and drown him then had made a wax image to make him sicken and die.
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.
Will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?” The witches pretend to be puzzled by Macbeth’s surprise and horror. In Macbeth, the supernatural have many influences on the atmosphere, events and characters. The supernatural was an ongoing theme in Macbeth, mainly in the form of the three witches and there apparitions. The three witches influence the type of language a character uses, and can easily change a character’s state of mind. The witches always meet each other in the most miserable of atmospheres, in a desolate place and when there is thunder.
James I was personally terrified yet fascinated by witches after an attempt on his life by Agnes Sampson, a convicted witch. This led to the practice of witchcraft becoming punishable by death. A theme of such forbidden ideas, shrouded in the mystery of the supernatural would surely have horrified those watching the play yet left them intrigued. The witches embody a malign and demonic intelligence. They utilise this to guide the main themes and characters within the play, notably by their reversal of nature when chanting 'Fair is foul and foul is fair'.
Banquo says that they look l... ... middle of paper ... ...ire burn and caldron bubble.” He gets some of his answers from apparitions. The witches are playing games with Macbeth and the first apparition arrives with thunder, this is symbolic of terror, power and evil. The first apparition is an armed head and the second on is a bloody child this is, “More potent than the first” The third apparition is a child crowned, with a tree in is hand. Macbeth is haunted by all his wicked deeds. Now Macbeth is dependant on the witches.