How Does Shakespeare Use the Witches in Macbeth to Create Mood and Effect on an Audience?

844 Words Apr 6th, 2012 4 Pages
How does Shakespeare use the witches to create mood and effect on an audience?

Macbeth was set around 1040s, during this era, Elizabethan and Jacobean times, the traditional theory of witches was widely accepted; and anyone who questioned it was believed to be a witch themselves; if there was suspicion of a person being a witch, prosecution was most likely made.
The play “Macbeth” is a tragedy, because of Macbeth; the hero aspect in the play is brought to ruin. Although he is not an idealistic hero, he’s the main character and suffers great loss, even death; the witches had caused him to bring it upon himself, by misleading his blind ambition.
Throughout the 1040s, people were led to believe, because of religion and traditional that
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Macbeth’s re-evaluation had angered Lady Macbeth, she would accept him no less but king. She then questions his manliness, in a hope to challenge him to do it; daring him to prove himself a man; “When you durst do it, then you were a man” she says “were a man” in the past tense, to say he isn’t anymore, unless he kills the king.
She tries to make Macbeth feel guilty, by saying she would of done it for him; “Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.” She challenges his loyalty to her, comparing his false promises to what she would do for him.
Macbeth goes back to see the witches, because he is worried about the consequences and guilt of killing the King and Banquo. “You untie the winds and let them fight against the churches”; he inquires about what is happening to the world, and him, because he is scared of it.
Shakespeare uses the witches to reassure Macbeth that there is nothing to worry about; “the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” this leads him to believe he is invincible, he trusts them as a result of all the other prophecies told becoming true, this puts him at ease.
Another prophecy the witch’s apparition, which they had conjured up, says Macbeth will only be harmed when something supposedly
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