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The Three Witches In Macbeth Essay

Decent Essays
The three witches are introduced in Act 1 of Macbeth. In the beginning of act 1, the witches chant “fair is foul, and foul is fair” (1.1.12). This sets the scene for the entire play. In scene 3 of act 1 the witches meet Macbeth. The witches address Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” (1.3.50) and “Thane of Cawdor” (1.3.51) which surprises Macbeth because he hadn’t been informed of Duncan’s decision. When Macbeth is told he shall be named king of Cawdor, he begins to build trust in the witches prophecies. In act 2, scene 1 Macbeth and Banquo discuss the witches prophecies.
BANQUO I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters To you they have showed some truth
MACBETH I think not of them Yet when we can entreat an hour to serve, we would spend it in some words upon that business (2.1.20/25)
Banquo and Macbeth’s conversation shows their trust in the witches and that Macbeth has been thinking of the witches. In Act 3, Macbeth becomes afraid of being defeated. Macbeth visits the witches in hopes of learning who may be plotting against him. This shows that Macbeth is relying on the witches to warn him and to prepare him.
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“Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff; Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough” (4.1.71/72) The witches are warning Macbeth of Macduff and his intentions. The witches then show Macduff in the couldren a floating head which warns him again of Macduff. Then, a bloody child appears in the couldron. “The power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (4.1.80/81) Next, the witches show a crowned child holding a branch telling him he will be safe until Birnam Wood moves to Dunisnane Hill. “Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.”
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