Macbeth Quotes

  • Created by: Adip
  • Created on: 09-05-17 21:19

The Witches Context

King James 1 was a strong believer in witches. Big reason why they are included in the play. They provide the theme of the supernatural and superstition Jacobean audience loved.

Shakespeare uses the witches to introduce the play: the witches speak of Thunder, lightning, and rain. Introduces Macbeth as dark and dangerous play.

The power struggle between good and evil. Their presence communicates impending doom.

Represent darkness chaos and conflict they can straddle reality. Antithetical Language is shrouded with mystery and menace " Fair is Foul and foul is fair".

They speak in Trochaic tetrameter which makes them sound eerie. 

The witches are catalysts of action.  The witches don't corrupt Macbeth they only draw out what is already in their heart.

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Quotes of the witches Act 1 scene 3

They meet in thunder moorland wilderness. Pathetic fallacy

2nd witch to 3rd which -"Killing swine" Witches were often accused of killing livestock 

2nd witch to 3rd which -"ILL give thee a wind" Many believed that witches controlled the weather.

2nd witch to 3rd which "Ill drain dry as hay" Jacobean audiences thought that the witches performed inhuman crimes such as enforced sexual intercourse.

All chanting- "Thrice do thine and Thrice to mine and thrice again" At the time 3 was a number associated with Devil.Chanting 3x3 was scary for audience and conveyed evil

Banquo describing witches - "look not like th'inhabitants o' th'earth" This suggests the witches were out of this world and not bound to earth rules. They are supernatural and beyond human. 

Banquo describing witches - "Should be women and your beards forbid me to interpret you" - Jacobean era women and beards were strictly unacceptable this fitted in with superstition that witches were different to humans.

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