Throughout the play, the witches—referred to together the “weirdsisters” by many of the characters—lurk like dark thoughts and also unconscioustemptations to evil. In part, the mischief they cause stems fromtheir supernatural powers, however mainly the is the an outcome of your understandingof the weakness of their particular interlocutors—they pat uponMacbeth’s ambition prefer puppeteers.

The witches’ beards, bizarre potions, and rhymed speechmake castle seem contempt ridiculous, prefer caricatures of the supernatural. Shakespearehas them speak in rhyming couplets transparent (their many famousline is more than likely “Double, double, toil and also trouble, / Fire burnand cauldron bubble” in 4.1.10–11),which separates them from the various other characters, who greatly speakin empty verse. The witches’ words seem practically comical,like malevolent nursery rhymes. In spite of the absurdity of your “eyeof newt and toe the frog” recipes, however, castle are clearly themost dangerous personalities in the play, gift both exponentially powerfuland completely wicked (4.1.14).

The audience is left come ask even if it is the witches space independent agentstoying with human being lives, or agents that fate, who prophecies areonly reports the the inevitable. The witches bear a striking and obviouslyintentional same to the Fates, female characters in bothNorse and Greek mythology that weave the fabric of person lives andthen cut the object to end them. Some of their prophecies seemself-fulfilling. For example, the is hesitant that Macbeth would certainly havemurdered his king there is no the push provided by the witches’ predictions.In various other cases, though, their prophecies are just remarkably accuratereadings of the future—it is tough to see Birnam timber coming to Dunsinaneas being self-fulfilling in any way. The play supplies no straightforward answers.Instead, Shakespeare keeps the witches well outside the borders ofhuman comprehension. Lock embody one unreasoning, instinctive evil.

You are watching: What do the witches in macbeth represent



The Office" class="tag--moreLikeThis-blog more-like-this__link more-like-this__link--blog" href="">

See more: Sunlight Is Slowed Most When Traveling Through A) Water, Sunlight Is Slowed Most When Traveling Through


Macbeth Literature guide

EBOOK version

Ace her assignments v our guide to Macbeth!