William Shakespeare probably wrote his play, The Tragedy of Macbeth,
for King James I around 1606. To fully appreciate why the witches had
such and important presence and impact upon the characters in the
play, one has to take into account the beliefs and fears that people
living in the early part of the 17th century held.
Today of course, with our scientific knowledge, and so called
'spiritual enlightenment', witches are perceived by the general
population as objects of fun - daft women who practice silly
spells(naked of course!) on hillsides- as we 'know' magic doesn't
exist. But back in the 1600's however, witches were feared and hated.
People really believed that they had supernatural powers that enabled
them to see into the future, and indeed, change it. Beliefs were black
and white in the middle ages. There was a heaven and a hell - God and
Satan existed to people as real entities, and witches were perceived
as evil, subhuman creatures, servants of the devil himself-as
evidenced in Act 1 scene 111, when Macbeth and Banquo first met the
"What are these, so wither'd, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o'th' earth,
And yet are on't? Live you, or are you aught
That man may question?"
Further on in the scÃ¨ne, Shakespeare alludes to the witches
"Say from whence you owe this strange intelligenceâ€¦
With such prophetic greeting"
"Whither are they vanish'd
Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted
As breath into the wind".
Given the historical belief in the powers...
... middle of paper ...
That you are so."
The actors playing the roles of Macbeth and Banquo delivered their
difficult lines believably, and with passion - enabling the viewer to
'digest' Shakespeare without being distracted. Whilst the musical
score, from the crying gulls, to the discordant bagpipes, added the
necessary tension and drama to the film.
Comparing these two versions of Macbeth is quite difficult. Jack
Gold's production is a play, and the effects of the limited space,
scenery and budget, must be taken into consideration when it's placed
alongside Polanski's film version - to which none of these
restrictions really apply. That said, I personally prefer Polanski's
work. I found the story-line easier to follow and more interesting,
since it was presented in the style my modern, jaded imagination has
come to expect.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Role of the Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth William Shakespeare probably wrote his play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, for King James I around 1606. To fully appreciate why the witches had such and important presence and impact upon the characters in the play, one has to take into account the beliefs and fears that people living in the early part of the 17th century held. Today of course, with our scientific knowledge, and so called 'spiritual enlightenment', witches are perceived by the general population as objects of fun - daft women who practice silly spells(naked of course!) on hillsides- as we 'know' magic doesn't exist.... [tags: Papers]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- The Role of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare has made the witches and their prophecies play a major part in the storyline and overall feeling of the play Macbeth. When he was returning from Denmark after his marriage, James first came in contact with witchcraft. A coven of witches in North Berwickshire had tried to practice the black arts against him. Being unable to obtain any of his clothes, they had christened a cat, tied to it parts of the body of a dead man and carried it out to sea before the town of Leith, 'sailing in their riddles or sieves'.... [tags: Papers]
996 words (2.8 pages)
- The Role of Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare The witches present modern directors with great difficulties. Consider the role of the witches and suggest how they can be made as successful for a modern audience as they would have been for a contemporary audience. In Shakespeare’s day, the thought of the witches scared people as they thought that they had witches living among them, casting spells on them and trying to do them harm. This fear was fuelled by the King at the time, James I, who believed strongly in the Divine right of Kings.... [tags: Papers]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- The Role of the Witches in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare some time between 1603 and 1606 and is set in Scotland around 1040. The time it was written coincides with the reign of King James the First of England. King James showed a great interest in witches and powers of the supernatural and Macbeth was arguably written to impress the king in what were violent times. Shakespeare used witches as pivotal characters to create a catalyst for the action that was included in the play.... [tags: Papers]
1118 words (3.2 pages)
- The Role of the Three Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In the play it can be seen that there are various ways in which the three witches can be seen to influence Macbeth in different ways. In this essay I plan to explore each and everyway this can be deduced. When Macbeth has his first meeting with the witches it is clear that they intend to inform Macbeth of his fortune. This is show by the way they greet him and this is show in the text where it says, " All hail, Macbeth.... [tags: Papers]
549 words (1.6 pages)
- The Role of Witches in Act 1 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth The people of England endured a lot during its vindictive and powerful history. Reformation both in politics, economy and especially in religion had created a more independent England. Henry VIII had broken away from the disintegrating yet more prevailing and orthodox Catholic Church, for his desire to gain a divorce from his current wife. It was customary in the Catholic Church that only the Pope could grant a divorce, and so the Pope refused to bestow one.... [tags: Papers]
2882 words (8.2 pages)
- The Role of the Witches in the Downfall of Shakespeare's MacBeth MacBeth by William Shakespeare is a play which shows the uprise of MacBeth, the treachery and his eventual downfall. Witchcraft plays a major part in MacBeth's actions and his weak character is easily manipulated. Although being an honest and brave man earlier, his ambition clouds his judgement. His life is tragic and through some terrible deeds ends in catastrophe. MacBeth is Thane of Glamis and a highly honorable and respected man.... [tags: Shakespeare MacBeth]
699 words (2 pages)
- The Witches or Weird Sisters play a major role in the brilliant tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare. The role of the Weird Sisters represents that equivocal evil in the nature of things which helps to deceive the human will. They are not mere witches although they have some of the powers of witches. Even though they were produced by nature, they share with angels a freedom from limitation of space and time, a power to perceive the causes of things, and to see some distance into human minds (Kermode 1309).... [tags: Shakespeare Witches Macbeth Essays]
1883 words (5.4 pages)
- ... iii. 48). This indicates that Macbeth is a great warrior and is an important figure of Scottish nobility. As predicted by the witches “All hail, Macbeth. hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!...shalt be king hereafter!” he will soon take reign as the Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland (I. iii. 49-50). If the witches had never told him that, Macbeth would still be ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, Macbeth’s honorable nature seemed to fade. The enormous amount of influence of Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth, also contributed to Macbeth’s degeneration character.... [tags: degeneration, blind ambition]
733 words (2.1 pages)
- Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In 1606, William Shakespeare first performed the play Macbeth to James I, King of the union between England and Scotland. The main reason Shakespeare wrote Macbeth was to warn people of the consequences of trying to harm the King, especially as this was one year after the Gun Power Plot of 1605, where a group of Catholics tried to ill the King by setting up lots of barrels full to the brim of gunpowder under the houses of parliament during a speech by the King.... [tags: Papers]
1206 words (3.4 pages)