The Witches and Hecate portray the image and eminence of evil in Macbeth. During the first scene of the play, the witches are chanting and cackling over thunderstorms, thus introducing themselves as evil beings. They are questioned by Banquo if they are truly women and that “...their beards forbid [me] to interpret that you are so” (I. iii. 44-45), and Hecate is introduced as the goddess of witchcraft. The remark made by Banquo and the title of Hecate states that Shakespeare intends to use repulsive-looking women, mistakenly having beards, to render that women are predominately evil.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, light and dark play a big role in the dualities of the characters, the setting and the imagery throughout the play. Macbeth begins with three witches talking about when to meet again. These witches are evil by nature and represent evil throughout the book. The head of these witches states in her first line, “When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lighting or in rain?” (I. i.
The paradox of ‘’fair is foul and foul is fair’’ is evident within the theme of good and evil in relation to the witches. Their prophecies provide truthful outcomes, though they are twisted, and easily manipulate Macbeth into believing that he is invincible ‘’none of
(1.3.71)” Banquo also doubts the intension of the witches, he believes that evil always tells one part of the truth in order to earn one’s trust and lead him to destruction. Banquo warns Macbeth, ”But ‘tis strange./And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,/ the instruments of darkness tell us truths,/win us with honest trifles, to betray’s/In deepest consequence. (1.3.124-128)” On the other hand, Macbeth ignored his friends warning and believes in what the witches say. He is over whelmed by his ambition to be king, he said to himself,”Glamis, and the thane of Cawfor!/The greatest is behind. (1.3.118-119).””Two truths are told/,as happy prologues to the swelling act/of the imperial theme.
2) Explain the meaning of the witches line “fair is foul, and foul is fair” (Act 1, scene 1, line 11) * The line ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’ is an exploitment of opposites. It’s difficult to understand and could mean a few different things. The witches are referring to their appearance in this quote as they’re foul looking and believe they’ll become fair (good-looking) after the battle. 3) What conclusions can we make about Macbeth from the descriptions we have of him in Act 1, scene ii? Find examples from the text.
The witches are possibly linked as the “charms” seem to influence Macbeth and he begins to echo “foul and fair”. Whenever Macbeth seems at his most inhumane he uses rhyming couplets for example, “knell that summons…to heaven…hell” is used before killing Duncan in act 2 and “fight…heaven…find it out to-night” before killing Banquo in act 3.
They are very mischievous and play upon the weaknesses and ambitions of Macbeth. The witches prophecies spark Macbeth’s ambitions, just as the witches knew they would. They make Macbeth question Banquo when they prophesies that Banquo’s offspring will be king. “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater./ Not so happy, yet much happier./Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:/So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!.” This leads Macbeth into ordering the murders of Banquo and Fleance. The witches then manipulate him to believe he is immortal by telling him “laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (Act 4, scene 1 lines 86-88).
The weather conditions when they meet can all be linked with the theme of chaos and disorder, which foreshadows their role within the play as it is their predictions which awaken the seeds of ambition within Macbeth. The fact that they cannot be trusted is also implied in this first scene as their speech is full of antithesis and this foreshadows the equivocation they use to confuse Macbeth and fill him with a false sense of security, “When the battles lost and won” “Fair is foul, and foul is fair;” When we next meet the witches, the setting is again chilling in that they meet in thunder. Again, the supernatural powers that the witches have are highlighted as they wreak their revenge on a sailor, whose wife refused to give one of them chestnuts. Their power to control the experiences of the poor sailor is established and they explicitly discuss their ability to
Compare how the writers present evil and villainy in Macbeth and the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The author of the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is called Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson’s novel adds some aspects of madness and mystery though mostly evil and villainy which was in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. These themes are the same in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In the beginning Macbeth was a good hero however he became overly ambition as a result of the three witches’ prophecy.
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