From the very start of the play we are introduced to the witches. When the play opens, there is thunder rolling around and the witches appear on stage. The thunder is symbolic of unrest and gives the audience the first impression that the play will explore order and disorder. Jacobeans believed thunder releasing forces of evil and was an omen of unrest in individual people and whole countries. This conveys a very dramatic atmosphere. Shakespeare also puts the witches at the forefront of the play to show how malicious, spiteful and vengeful they are, this is also repeated in scene 3, also by placing them in the opening scene he is stressing their input and informing the audience that the supernatural is at the forefront of the play. He
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Good will become bad and bad will become good. This line foreshadows things to come in the play and also anticipates the overturning of accepted values due to unnatural acts. They also speak in rhyming couplets used to indicate the language of incantation, “hover through the fog and filthy air” which is symbolic of the witches deception. There true intentions are hidden, unclear and misleading. They will not tell Macbeth clear indications of his future, but suggest a positive one. A downfall as a result of the visions but they give him an insight into what he could have, which results in his temptation.
The witches and their predictions are the major influence on Macbeth’s actions. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis is happy with his position, until the three witches tell him “hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor, thou shalt be King hereafter.” The witches could foretell the future, they can temptation, and influence Macbeth negatively.
It was sometimes thought that the witches had the ability to reverse the natural order of things. This introduces the idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. One can ponder if Macbeth ever had a chance of doing what was right after he met with the witches. It is however more realistic to believe that Macbeth was responsible for his own actions throughout the play and in the end it was he who made the final decisions.
Scene 3 opens