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The Presentation Of Witches In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

4287 words - 17 pages

The Presentation of Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Act 1 Scene 1 gives us our first impressions of the Witches.

In Polanski and the stage play a definite atmosphere is created in the
opening scene, when the witches plan to meet Macbeth when the fighting
has finished and the battle is won.

The first line in the play, Act 1 Scene 1 Line 1, the first witch says
“when shall we three meet again?” I think the reason Shakespeare chose
this as his first line because it immediately lets the audience know
the three witches are plotting something.

The dramatic opening is very short but gets straight to the point. To
the witches what is good is evil as a result in act1 scene 1 line 11
‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’ would seem like a warning that things
are not what they seem to be and this creates an uncertain atmosphere
again. The last line of the quotation is an example of alliteration
because Shakespeare imitates the thickness and filthiness of the fog
if not atmosphere by using words with f and th sounds. The reason
being for Shakespeare having thunder and lightning present when the
witches first entered as a stage direction in his play, “thunder and
lightning. Enter three witches”. Thunder and Lightning has long been
associated with evil because powerful forces are released and for many
centuries there was no explanation for it. The three witches always
speak as if plotting what to do to their next victim and are very
careful where they meet and that they are only seen by their victims.
This point is proved and undoubtedly obvious when they are only seen
in the play in unsociable hours.

In the Polanski version of Macbeth before the witches enter the
settings and sound affects created an evil and eerie atmosphere. The
opening scene is set on a beautiful beach just before sunrise. Just as
we see the sunrise on the beach the witches enter crudely dressed in
rags. The first witch looked fairly young like she was an adolescent
and seemed to be the quietest, as if there was a hierarchy and she was
at the bottom. This could be to do with the fact she was the youngest
and had less knowledge than the two other witches and less power. The
second and seemed a fairly normal person and could pass for a servant
until you heard her eerie voice, to me she seemed deaf as she seemed
to be lip reading when the other two witches were talking. The third
witch was the eldest and blind as she had her eyes covered up, the
third witch seemed to be at the top of the hierarchy as she seemed to
answer all the questions and talked the most out of the three. Each
witch seemed to have a disability making them interdependent. This
could mean their powers are much greater when the three of them are
together. Polanski is able to make the first scene eerie and
mysterious by using special effects and...

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