Macbeth – The Witches

List 5 important events for the witches. Macbeth’s captivation with them, unsexing, play begins with a storm, speaking in trochaic tetrameter and rhyming couplets, James I was obsessed with the supernatural
Why is Macbeth being captivated by the witches important? It suggests how susceptible he is to the promises they make. Makes you question to what extent Macbeth was responsible for his actions as the witches are the puppet master or the witches planted the seeds and Macbeth acts on it. This first scene reinforces that Macbeth’s hamartia is ambition as he is desperate for their prophecies to be true
Why is the unsexing important? To a Shakespearean audience the spirits could actually do this and this shows how evil Lady Macbeth is. Also the witches are androgynous which creates a link between them, highlighting the evil of Lady Macbeth
Why is the play beginning with a storm important? A storm is used as a common trope in literature and shows how the witches will upset the natural order of Scotland (foreboding)
Why is the witches speaking in trochaic tetrameter and rhyming couplets important? Seems like a chant or incantation which reinforces their supernaturalness. Also near the end of Act 1 scene 1 it disintegrates which is a microcosmic trajectory of the whole play as they move from order to chaos. The witches speak in paradox as well which represents a lack of order and duplicity
Why is James I obsession with the supernatural important? The play is Jacobean propaganda. James I once wrote a book called ‘Demonology’

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