Witch Brew Scene Vs Macbeth

Improved Essays
In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, he writes the original version of the iconic Witch Brew scene, where the three witches are pictured as “circl[ing] the cauldron”, creating a potion, while singing and dancing to “Black Spirits” (IIII.I.Stage Directions). Though, in Goold’s version, the witches are seen dancing around a morgue, not actually creating a potion, and chanting the recipe aloud. In Rupert Goold’s 2010 television interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Macbeth, the director used the cinematic devices such as costumes, setting, and actor choices to further portray the witches as not being magical or having much control over Macbeth’s thoughts and actions, but being more human and having the power to influence Macbeth’s …show more content…
The witches’ nurse costumes show how the director attempted to make the witches more human, depicting the witches as not having complete control over Macbeth’s mind and choices but being able to influence him and sway his well being. In line with the nurse elements of the costume, the Witch’s glasses contribute to a more human sense and show her to have the insight to see choices Macbeth makes.

The setting of the famous Witch Brew scene greatly affected the meaning of the scene in Goold’s interpretation. By setting the brew scene in a brightly lit morgue with each witch standing over a dead body instead of a barren wasteland, it further contributes to the idea that the witches are portrayed as being human. By setting the three witches in the morgue, they appear to be nurses simply doing their jobs and not creating a bubbling concoction that Shakespeare originally intended. The bright clouded lighting behind the witches, though, contrasts the idea that they appear to be human. The streaming white light covered by plastic strips gives an impression of a higher power showing that the witches truly do have control over Macbeth and simply trying to mask it. The seemingly
…show more content…
In the witch brew scene, Goold's first change of having the witches not actually create a brew also contributes to the idea that the witches are not magical beings but humans who simply have further insight than Macbeth. Another of Goold’s executive decisions in his interpretation was to create the recipe into more of a song than a list of ingredients as Shakespeare wrote, emphasizing certain lyrics like “finger of a birth strangled babe” and the classic “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble,” (IIII.I.10-12 and 30). By bringing out these two specific lines, Goold showcases how gruesome the potion truly is and shows one of the book’s more famous lines. Finally, through the apparitions, the witches voice action and emotions conveyed Goold’s intentions. Goold decided to have three apparitions played by actors who for the first half of the scene appeared to be dead. Goold’s choice to the apparitions portrayed by actual people represented that the apparitions posed an actual threat to Macbeth and foreshadowed the idea that those who you don’t expect can hurt you the most. By having the witches speak in a voice other than their own shows that there is an underlying evil to what the witches do. When the first witch asks Macbeth to “Say, if th' hadst rather hear it from our mouths, Or from our masters',” and deepens her

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    The spirits that know All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus: ‘Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman Shall e'er have power upon thee’” (5.3.4-9) (Macbeth Speech) . Macbeth realizes that the witches spells made apparitions appear, but those apparitions spoke half-truths. The witches served as an important role in the downfall of Macbeth. Most crucially, they are equivocating evil spirits, but they with their honesty.…

    • 1030 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Shakespeare’s well-known play Macbeth, the minor characters The Three Witches otherwise known as the three weird sisters, prey on Macbeth’s ambition to be king. They do so by pushing their supernatural power and understanding of others weakness to explain their prophecy and watch it unfold. It is often argued if the witches inherent wickedness caused Macbeth 's downward spiral, or did they just spoil him with his future reign and his underlying tendencies causes his eventual death? The witches are are interesting antagonist that Shakespeare chose to write against Macbeth. Although, we are unsure if all of the scenes that the witches are in were written by Shakespeare, the witches still hold a key part in the play regardless.…

    • 941 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Portrayed as repulsive and bearded hags, the three witches play a significant role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. One tends to take for granted the context and audience in which this piece was created for, ergo the aura the witches brought to 1600’s English society. Presently, the persona of witches are far away fairy tales. By having witches in his play, one would assume that he was risking his success, which is truth to some extent. In fact, Shakespeare needed characters so bluntly vile to create his masterpiece.…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The first witch tells her sisters of how she is not going to let the captain sleep to torment him. The idea of insomnia can be considered a motif of Macbeth due to it’s reapperances throughout the play. A motif is a reoccuring idea or object that helps the audience better understand a peice of literature. The witches cursing of the captain is an extremely important scene because now any other instance of insomnia can be directly related back to the witches. The correlation between the witches and insomnis can then help the audience detect the supernatural presence of the three Weird…

    • 902 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The witches prophecies are the indirect cause of the madness that Macbeth develops towards the end of the play. The witches gave Macbeth his prophecies, such as becoming king and not being killed by a man born of woman. These prophecies were their manipulation, the ‘prophesies ' could have been what the witches wanted to happen. By telling Macbeth they were prophetic, they manipulate him into fulfilling the actions that the witches wanted to be fulfilled. The witches are some of the best manipulators in history.…

    • 816 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Using the voice and the presence of a witch creates a rebuttal against the recently empowered male. Qualities of a ‘slanderous woman’ suppressed the rise of female empowerment from a patriachial society. Such qualities made her undesirable towards the naked eye. Many of these traditional female characteristics sub-ordiant to men can be seen in the various female figures such as Isabella and Lady Macbeth. By exploring the manipulation of the female voice of Isabella in Middleton’s The Witch and Lady Macbeth in Shakepeares Mabeth plays have been cast as “human witches” through the lens of witch…

    • 1884 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In conclusion, the three witches as well as the Apparitions play an important role in the supernatural and fate in the drama Macbeth. The three apparitions in the performance Macbeth causes King Macbeth to become arrogant. Macbeth went to see the witches once again to demand he should be shown a series of apparitions that show his future. The first apparition was an armored head and the witches declare, “Beware Macduff; beware Thane of Fife” (4.1.71-72). The witches warn Macbeth to stay away from Macduff because he could be potential danger later in the play.…

    • 1506 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    With Macbeth’s lack of assertiveness both the witches and Lady Macbeth use this flaw to gain control of him and lead him into action. The witches and Lady Macbeth both have very influential effects on Macbeth but the witches are the bigger catalyst towards Macbeth’s downfall. Lady Macbeth may have had dramatic effects on Macbeth’s actions such as the plan to kill Duncan but eventually she became useless to Macbeth as he began to do everything himself. Even her first actions at controlling Macbeth were influenced by the witches. Lady Macbeth shows her desire for kingship after reading the letter, “Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor, Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter, Thy letters have transported me beyond This ignorant present, and I feel…

    • 1148 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Macbeth Superstition Essay

    • 1011 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Witches are important because they are the ones who made the prophecies that leads to the tragic of Macbeth. From Act 1 Scene 3 when Banquo first met the three witches he said to them “You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so.” The reason why the witches have beards is because back in that era woman did not performed in theaters. Man had to replace all female roles. Also the witches pursued the same mysterious potion making as all stereotypical witches do. This can be shown in Act 4 Scene 1, witches were chanting “Double, double, toil and trouble..” while making a pot of potion.…

    • 1011 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Macbeth Downfall Essay

    • 1062 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Throughout the play, the Witches were able to manipulate Macbeth’s actions. For example, when Hecate says: “Shall draw him on to his confusion / He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear / His hopes ‘bove wisdom grace and fear” (3.5.39-31), it is showing how Hecate and the Witches really drive Macbeth to his eventual death. In other words, the Witches made Macbeth believe things that were not true, giving him a false sense of security. The majority of Macbeth’s actions were in the result of the Witches. For example, Macbeth was told that Macduff was harmless, when really, this wasn’t true.…

    • 1062 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays