In this essay, I am seeking to answer the question: “What is the significance of the three witches in Macbeth?”. In order to answer this, I will look at the following things: what I believe Shakespeare intended the witches to represent; what the witches aim to achieve throughout the play; and what they do ultimately achieve and its ramifications by the end of Macbeth.
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What do you think is the significance of the witches in Macbeth
One evident significance of the Witches in Macbeth can be a symbol of evil catalyst, where no evil is definitely planted but instead, nurtured enough to push for it's development. This can be evidently presented through the Witches planned meeting with Macbeth. 'First Witch: Where the place?
Second Witch: Upon the heath.
Third Witch: There to meet with Macbeth.' Though through this, Shakespeare makes it clear that the Witches are significant in relation to Macbeth's later drive into evil, as they plan to meet with him. Shakespeare reinforces the idea of evil catalysts by foreshadowing the element of evil they share. The Witches prove this by Macbeth repeating the line, 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' after the Witches in unison chant this on the heath. From one line, the significance of the Witches becomes visibly clearer, where such a connection holds both supernatural and foreshadowed meaning. As both characters despite having no previous relations with each other, utter the same words, present the Witches to already know of a likeness between them, one which they will to exploit when finally meeting Macbeth. In the letter addressed to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth writes,'I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge.' The curious nature Shakespeare bestows upon Macbeth, marks the beginning of heightened ambition, presenting the Witches to be significant in turmoil Macbeth catches himself in after hearing the news of Thane of Cawdor.