Examples Of Witchcraft In Macbeth

Decent Essays

Witchcraft and the Weird Sisters The practice of witchcraft and the dark arts has been around for centuries. There are countless books, movies, plays, and television shows today that revolve around witchcraft and the practice of witchcraft. One of the most prominent eras for witchcraft was during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries within the Medieval and Renaissance time periods. Around this time is when Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth, which is one such play as it possesses a plot involving witches and witchcraft, was written and performed. William Shakespeare portrays the common belief of witchcraft during the Medieval and Renaissance time periods in Macbeth by exploiting the witches’ familiars, their leader, and their …show more content…

Another common belief of this time was that witches were not the beings who actually possessed the power. It was often believed that witches had a leader or some type of master that directed them and gave them power. In the case of Macbeth, this leader was Hecate. Hecate is known in Greek mythology as the goddess of ghosts and witchcraft. She is identified as a “spirit of black magic… with the power to conjure up dreams, phantoms, and the spirits of the dead” (“Hecate”). When Hecate appears in Macbeth, she states that she is the “mistress of [the witch’s] charms, the close contriver of all harms” (Mac 3.5 6-7). Also, Hecate directs the witches to:
Get you gone, and at the pit of Acheron meet me I’ the morning. Tither he will come to know his destiny. Your vessels and your spells provide your charms and everything beside. I am the air; this night I’ll spend unto a dismal and fatal end. Great business must be wrought ere noon: upon the corner of the moon (Mac 3.5 15-19).
She explains to the witches that she is in control of them, and they must do what she says. She tells them exactly and precisely how to deal with Macbeth. If they do exactly what she says, they cannot fail. Witches were also feared by many, in this time period, because of their magical and supernatural abilities. Having these such

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