Uploaded by marshall007 on Feb 24, 2005
In this essay I will explore and explain one of William Shakespeare's tragically play Macbeth. In this aspect is that of the three Weird Sisters. These three” secret black, and midnight hags" (Mac IV.i 47), hardly noticeable as humans, serve a huge dramatic function in the play. Closely looking at Macbeth, one can distinguish the many functions that they serve in the play. The role of the three Weird Sisters in the play Macbeth is to generate imagery, mood, and atmosphere and to serve as the equivocation that will bring Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, to his downfall.
The witches are a powerful influence on Macbeth because they are, in part, responsible for his decision to kill Duncan. Through their predictions they have filled Macbeth with the desire for the throne of Scotland. But, in the final analysis, the witches do very little to influence Macbeth to commit the murder of the king, Banquo, and the others. Macbeth's own inner evil and desire for ambition, coupled with the pressure placed on him by Lady Macbeth to kill the king, are really the factors that most strongly influenced Macbeth. The belief in the existence and power of witches was widely believed in Shakespeare's day, as demonstrated by the European witch craze, during which an estimated nine million women were put to death for being apparent as witches. The practice of witchcraft was seen to subvert the established order of religion and society, and hence was not tolerated. Witch hunting was a respectable, moral, and highly intellectual pursuit through much of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. The belief of the majority during the seventeenth century suggests that the witches are powerful figures who can exercise great power over Macbeth; however, strong arguments to the contrary were in existence at the same time. The intensity of the tragedy is dependent on whether the witches are perceived to be able to control the otherwise innocent Macbeth's actions, or if he is entirely responsible for his own downfall. The main type of weather found throughout the play is thunder and lightning storms, which occur when evil deeds are either being formulated or carried out. I first saw this theatrical use of weather when we meet the three witches in Act 1, scene 1. Whether Shakespeare included stage directions for storms is debatable, but the lines of the play suggest the kind...