William Shakespeare's Macbeth
The main part of the play involves 3 witches, who are important they
deliver dramatic, significance to the play, which creates an
atmosphere, which Shakespeare wanted, from the public. The witches
have this dramatic part in the play because during Elizabethan times
witches were part of life: People were scared of them because they
believed that witches could communicate with the dead. They even
believed some could see into the future. So to see a play about
witches would be alarming. People were frightened but it would still
attract people to come and see it. It would be a once in a lifetime
opportunity, to catch sight of a play about witches. During the play
Macbeth comes across the three witches. They predict that curtain
things will happen to Macbeth. The witches take control of Macbeth and
bring the evil in Macbeth out of him.
In Shakespeare's time there were probably not more than five public
theatres in the whole country, they were all in London. The plays were
performed in courtyards, or inns. This is where playhouses originated.
Stagecraft during Elizabethan times were simple sounds effects for
example: dropping of a cannon- ball for the noises of thunder.
Trapdoors were used for the sudden disappearance of ghosts.
Witchcraft in about 1603 we must remember that England was not the
industrial, urban society it is today. Belief of witchcraft was wide
spread. In 1604 it became punishable by death, this was to try and
attempt to subvert god's natural order. We see clearly the witches
have beards. They substitute death at the point of birth; their major
achievement is leading Macbeth, to destruction.
In Act 1 scene 1 this scene sets an atmosphere, it gives more detail
about the characters. Its very important dramatically as Shakespeare
set the atmosphere for the whole play: at the beginning the atmosphere
is full of weirdness, horror, superstition and evil. The witches
almost always speak in a four beat rhythm. This is what makes their
chanting of the spells so strange and so effective. In the middle of a
storm the three witches assemble. Their chanting spells indicate that
shortly they intend to meet Macbeth.
The witches are ambiguous creatures perhaps not even human. They
create a sense of mystery when they meet "when the battle id lost and
won" which seems a contradion. The fact that they are evil is shown in
the final moments. According to them "fair is foul and foul is fair"
The witches are changing God's natural order.
Act1 scene 3 open very dramatically when the three witches are talking
about what they have been doing one of the witches say how she saw a
sailor's wife with chestnuts in her lap and she was munching away at
them so the witch asked if she could have some but the sailor's wife
say's "Arioint three". So the witch...