The importance of the three witches in Macbeth.

Essay by sachin__pHigh School, 11th gradeD+, March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.7

In the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare there are three witches. It

is a historical tragedy about betrayal. The play was based on an actual King of

Scotland called Macbeth.

During this period of time witches were not so important but more like fortune

tellers. Elizabethan beliefs told that there was more to them than what met the eye.

They were said to have done many evil things with their supernatural powers, like

change what would happen in the future. Many people feared from these evil witches.

If someone was suspected of being a witch they would be tortured and persecuted

even if they weren't. It was also believed that withes had 'familiars' normally frogs,

who were like the ghost assistants and that they could fly.

The play opens with a burst of thunder and lightning and then the witches

appear. They start talking in unison about where to meet next time, to meet with

Macbeth as they can see into the future.

They know that Macbeth is going to come. At

this point in the play king James would be very scared as he was afraid of witches and

he would have been in the audience. He wrote a book called 'Demonology'. This was

also around the time of the gun powder plot which would have made him nervous as


In act 1 scene 3 there is thunder and the witches appear again and ask each

other of what they have been up to since they met at the beginning of the play. Soon

after when Macbeth and Banquo enter the scene the witches predict that Macbeth will

become Thane of Cawdor from Thane of Glamis then be king, they all say 'Hail' three


In act 4 scene 1 it once again starts with...