The Importance of the Three Weird Sisters to William Shakespeare's Macbeth

The Importance of the Three Weird Sisters to William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The Importance of the Three Weird Sisters to William Shakespeare's Macbeth

How important are the "Three weird sisters" to the play of "Macbeth"?
Comment on their dramatic importance, their contribution to the plot
and their connection to the development to themes in the play. How
does Shakespeare interest and entertain his Elizabethan audience?
Comment on his use of language and theatre in achieving this.

I believe that the "three weird sisters" play a very important role to
"Macbeths" play. The witches are the first characters to appear on the
stage. When the witches first appear on stage, but as we get further
on into the play we start understanding what role they have been
playing and it shows that they are an extremely bad influence on
"Macbeth". They chant in rhyme and rhyme, which is like a spell and
the audience, shows suspense. "Fair is foul ". I think they have
influenced Macbeth all through the play for his killings

The first thing we hear about Macbeth is that he is a brave warrior
(Act 1 scene 2). He dies bravely too, but he is also a cold
calculating killer (Act 1 scene 2) .He murders Duncan because he wants
to be king he also has Macduffs family and Banquo killed. This is
mainly because of the witches at the very start of the play and their
actions what they do to Macbeth, with their rhymes and chants. Some
people think Macbeth must be evil because of all the terrible crimes
he commits such as killing Duncan because he is very ambitious. I
believe strongly that the witches persuaded and mixed with Macbeth for
his actions. The witches are the main contribution to the plot because
if it was never for them and there prophesies then none of it would
ever have happened. It was after Macbeth met the witched an heard
there prophesies that he turned to the 'dark' side.

When the witches first appear on the stage, there is a lot of tension
from the Elizabethan audience, as they believed very strongly in

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supernatural. This may seem unusual for us but the power to the
Elizabethan audience witchcraft was a very real thing. All over Europe
thousands of woman were accused of witch craft and tortured and burnt.
The "hideous women with beards" knew where Macbeth was as they could
predict the future. They conjured up visions that warn Macbeth that
everything they said would come true.


The audience experience a little of these prophesies almost
immediately in the opening scene. When they talk about meeting Macbeth
they say they will greet him, "when the battle's lost and won." And "
In thunder, lightening, or in rain?" "There to meet with Macbeth" They
are targeting him using the prophecies. They use a double meaning to
trick Macbeth. We then meet the witches at Act 1 scene 3 were " A
drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come" Macbeth then appears saying "So foul
and fair a day I have not seen "Which is a repetition of what the
witches say at the start of the play and therefore this is a
connection between them already. When they meet Macbeth and Banquo the
prophesies greet him with three titles, "Thane of Glamis," "Thane of
Cawdor," and "King hereafter. As he is already Thane of Glamis, he can
only but wonder about the last two titles. Then later on in the play
he becomes king I think this is a connection between the witches as
they made them predictions and they came true so quickly. The witches
then tell Banquo that he will be "Lesser then Macbeth but greater."
This again has both Macbeth and Banquo thinking and Macbeth wants to
hear more. "Stay you imperfect speakers; tell me more" Macbeth is
sceptical about the witches at the start. When he is made Thane of
Cawdor he starts to believe them. He still thinks he can alter their
prophecies. In the end Macbeth completely trusts their predictions and
when they don't happen in the way he would have liked them to, he
falls too pieces.

Then we see in scene 4 were they are in Forres. The old Thane of
Cawdor is dead Macbeth becomes Thane Of Cawdor.Macbeth and Duncan are
talking. "Stars' hide your fires! Let not see my black and deep
desires," Macbeths greed and impatience take over he releasing the
prophecies predictions have came true. He has his mind on his future.
It is clear to the audience that Lady Macbeth also uses various
strategies for example praise. She plans the murder. She tells him
that he is not a man if he does not perform it. She encourages him.
From the moment Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth she
begins to plan the murder. She even talks about defeminising herself.
She paints Macbeth as a weak man. She resolves to persuade Macbeth to
do it and asks for the strength to commit the murder.

Secondly, the play's opening scene has a huge impact on the audience.
Shakespeare's audience would immediately have seen the witches as a
real and terrible source of possession. In 1597, the King himself,
James 1st, published his own treatise on witchcraft: Demonology. The
powers of the weird sisters would be only too well known and
feared.The supernatural is an important theme in the play of
'Macbeth'but it affects Macbeth the most. He sees a dagger when he is
going to kill Duncan. He is the only one that can see Banquo's ghost.
The witches are involved in a lot of excitement and suspense. In Act 1
scene 1the witches let the audience know that they are evil "foul is
fair;" and they are going to meet Macbeth..Macbeth also sees an
imagery dagger and ghosts.(Act 2 scene 1)( Act 3 scene 4).In Act
3,scene 5 Hecate tells the witches she is off to make an evil spell to
ruin Macbeth. This builds up suspense for the audience. Starting the
play with thunder lightening and three weird witches on a heath is a
deliberate attempt to make the play seem exciting and intriguing from
the start. This is a lot of connection between the witches and
Macbeth. They start showing that Macbeth has got the idea of becoming
king and like this idea and decide to do more tricks and spells on
him.

The witches, apparitions and ghosts all help to spice up the play of "
Macbeth." There are lots of scary parts for the audience which could
make the audience shriek or jump because of the prophesies and the
murders and spells throughout all the play. Macbeth kills Duncan and
his servants off stage, but Banquo and Fleance die on stage. Which
would give the audience a good deal bit of excitement. There's a lot
of blood and gore especially after Duncan's murder. (Act 2 scene 2)
Macbeth comes on stage with bloodied daggers. The witches also speak
in shorter lines that rhyme "trice and bubble" This gives them a
spooky side to the audience.

Lastly, there are many themes in the play of Macbeth. The first theme
I would like to talk about is Good versus Evil. This is a big part of
the play with Macbeth and the three witches representing the evil and
Macduff and banquop representing goodness. It is made quite clear from
early on in the play that Macbeth is tempted towards the dark side and
cannot resist the temptation that evil brings his way. Lady Macbeth
urges her husband on with the plan taking a leading role n the murder
of Duncan. Banquo, however on the other hand was a lot more cautious
of the witches prophecies an new that nothing good could come out of
these evil spirits. Macduff sees what is happening around him an does
what he can to stop Macbeth with his plans. Macduff loses his wife and
kids who get savagely murdered by Macbeths soldiers.

Language also sets the tone in the play. What some characters say
gives us direct clues, In act 2 scene 1, you know it is a dark cloudy
night from what Banquo says, "Hold take my sword. There's husbandry in
heaven, their candles are all out. He is saying that there are no
stars (as candles) it's cloudy. Other times the language creates an
atmosphere of it own." O, full of scorpions is my mind. Dear wife!"
Macbeths bursts out with this with gentle talk before with his wife
and the atmosphere turns bad again. This is the witches playing with
Macbeths mind showing good side to Macbeth and bad.

In conclusion, it is clear that there are many possible reasons why
Macbeth may have behaved in the way that he did. I believe this is
mainly the witches' fault all along as they have made predictions,
which has led Macbeth to other performances. There has been so much
information telling us about the witches and their performances to
Macbeth that I believe even though the witches predictions turn out to
be right the witches are often seen as evil as their prediction in act
1, convinces Macbeth to murder Duncan. It's when Macbeth meets the
witches he is tempted into doing something evil. They say he will
become king and immediately he thinks of murdering Duncan. In act 4
they lead Macbeth into a false sense of security by showing visions,
which they know he will misinterpret.
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