Influence Of The Witches In Macbeth

Decent Essays

In the Elizabethan era witches were generally blamed for most misfortunes. Whether it be epidemics of diseases or traitorous storms. In addition witches were also considered to be evil and creepy. In Macbeth they kill the sailor in order to get back at the sailor’s wife for not sharing her chestnuts. The first witch says “A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap, And mounch’d and mounch’d and mouch’d. “Give me” quoth I: “Aroint thee witch!” the rump-fed ronyon cries.” (1.3.4) The witches reaction to the sailor’s wife not sharing her chestnuts is a bit extensive but because they were seen as supernatural and supposively can control the wind they were able to take it above and beyond and trapped the sailor at sea until he ran out of rations and died. Storms and wind were often thought to be attached to witches during the Elizabethan era. In addition to the witches supernatural abilities to control weather they also often predicted the future or gave prophecies to specific individuals. This occurred many times during act one in Macbeth. Not only did the witches predict that Macbeth would become king and could not be replaced by anyone born of a woman but they also predicted Banquo’s future along with his children's. The witches had said to Banquo that he will be “Lesser than Macbeth but greater.” and “Not so happy but yet much happier.”(1.3.68) Thus meaning that his children will become heir to throne which will make him happier and he will live and more meaningful life.

Get Access