Macbeth Essay: Witches Essay

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Leah Brayshaw
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Hello, I’ve written an essay on how the witches are provoked in the play ‘Macbeth’. Enjoy, any feedback would be great and a predicable grade if able to.

In the eponymous play ‘Macbeth’, the three witches are presented to almost illustrate the setting surrounding the contemporary audience, foreboding the duplicitous events to come. The witches are shown to equivocate the foreboding events which crafts a suspicious and daunting atmosphere, leaving the Jacobean audience to fear the witches through their association with the Supernatural.

In the caricature play, the witches are displayed to illustrate a suspicious and daunting setting, surrounding the contemporary audience which leaves them on the edge. In act 1 scene 1, the three witches are shown to be “upon the heath” where “thunder and lightning” is occurring. The use of pathetic fallacy used in the opening really highlight those daunting illustrations, emphasising the foreboding events yet to envelope. Shakespeare constructs pathetic fallacy in the expedition of the tragic play to indicate the foreshadowed belligerence conflicts, leaving the Jacobean audience to be prepared for the daunting events to evolve. The first witch is implied to ask a question to the others to “when shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning or in rain?” This inserted question provokes their association with the Supernatural, exemplifying their dissociation from society. The theme of Supernatural is constructed through the three weird sisters to imply their illustration with the setting of the play, preparing for the foreboding events to come. This further evokes their power in society as they are shown to control the weather and setting. This would have left the Jacobean audience to fear to witches as Supernatural was restricted and if any evolvement was highlighted during the era, it would have led to execution.

Another way Shakespeare constructs the witches as illustrators on the setting is through the manipulation of Macbeth’s “ambition”, triggering his “black and deep desires”. The use of coloured imagery here conveys his belligerent behaviour within which forebodes the catastrophic events to come. In Macbeth’s soliloquy, he talks about seeing a “dagger” towards him as he question “is this a dagger which I see before me?”. The use of rhetoric portray his bewilderedness which can be believed he is hallucinating the dagger. The witches can be indicated as the source of using Macbeth as an “instrument” to degenerate his ego, leaving him in a state to be controlled and tempered with in order for the witches to get what they want. Shakespeare constructs these witches as a connection to the Supernatural to exemplify how powerful they are to commit these diabolical crimes, provoking provocative witches. The use of hallucinations associates with the theme of Supernatural, leaving the witches to be the ones who are manipulating Macbeth in order to trigger his hamartia: ambition. This links back to the provocative witches being the illustrators of the setting as they are indicated to evolve around the Supernatural, crafting this daunting and suspicious atmosphere by foreboding the deceitful events to come. This would have feared the Jacobean audience as they were brought up to oppose any connection towards the supernatural as it led to deathly consequences that many were confined to.

In the archetypal play of ‘Macbeth’, the witches are constructed as illustrators of the setting in order to craft a menacing and daunting atmosphere, leaving the Jacobean audience to fear the witches. The witches are portrayed as illustrators of the setting through their equivocating language through the play itself. In the expedition of the play, the three witches all chant “fair is foul, and foul is fair. Walk through the fog and filthy air”. The use of paradoxical couplets used here creates a daunting atmosphere which is constructed through the witches themselves, illustrating the settings through the play.The construction of parallelism through the antithetical terms further the Jacobean audience bewildered as the witches aren’t explicitly highlighting what they want to say which would have also left them to be intrigued of what the witches are capable off. Another way Shakespeare constructs parallelism is through the witches foreboding the “battles lost and won”. This contrast between their prophecy creates a suspicious atmosphere which would have left the contemporary audience to be prepared of the belligerence events to come. This further links back to the witches involvement in the play who are crafted to illustrate the settings in ‘Macbeth’, creating a daunting and suspicious atmosphere throughout the allegorical play itself.

The final way Shakespeare constructs the provocative witches as illustrators of the setting is to project sinister and haunting connotations, leaving the contemporary audience to feel against Ed towards the witches involvement with the Supernatural. The witches are indicated to chant a spell as they all chant “Double, double toil and trouble:Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” The use of rhyming couplets used through the witches provoke their equivocation used to create an ominous atmosphere, referring back to their purpose of illustrating the setting. The witches can be implied to symbolise nefarious evil which builds onto the audience’s agitation towards the witches. The use of poetic terminology helps to craft this dreamlike imagery associated with the Supernatural. Shakespeare confines the witches through the didactic play also to illustrate how their provocation is implied as in the Jacobean era, King James were against the use of the Supernatural and is almost teaching bc the audience that any association with the Supernatural can make you powerful but in the bad way. This further links back to the witches involvement in the tragic play acting like illustrators of the setting through the play itself in order to conjure a daunting atmosphere, leaving the contemporary audience to fear the witches.

In conclusion, Shakespeare presents the witches as illustrators of the setting, crafting a daunting and suspicious atmospheric through the archetypical play itself. Shakespeare constructs the witches’ equivocation, foreboding the duplicitous events to come ahead which would have left the Jacobean audience to fear the witches’ omnipotent and their association with the Supernatural itself.
Last edited by Leah Brayshaw; 5 months ago
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flopsey-bunny
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It reads really well
I'm not an examiner, but that seems like grade 8-9 to me because you have made perceptive points and factored in context.
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Leah Brayshaw
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flopsey-bunny Thank you so much for your response!
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