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Paper Topic:

Power of Witches to Control People`s Lives in MacBeth

The figure of the witch is odious and frightening wherever it appears The witch is the stereotypical dark power , witchcraft being the thing attributed to the meek and powerless to rule over the great and mighty and to do so with a vengeance . Witchcraft and power always go together hand in hand , but witchcraft is power hidden in the shadows , it is the sin against nature and a crime against God . It is forbidden - and feared . When Shakespeare introduces the Three Witches into his play , the viewer already knows something is going to

go amiss , and the witches will be a part of it , and not a part of the solution . We know that the witches will influence the story , and Shakespeare constantly taunts us reminding of their power over people . Often , when the play is analyzed a great part of the blame is placed precisely upon the witches , for , if not for their prophecies , nothing would have happened . And yet , could this be a classical case of killing the messenger ? Are the witches really so powerful on their own ? Could they really harm Macbeth , and do they truly have power over him ? In this , I shall argue to the contrary

Let us deviate somewhat from the chronological of the play , and examine what it is , precisely , that the witches have power to do , and what they actually do when it comes to a man whose destiny was prophesied by their own means . That they have the power of prophecy is hardly doubtful - we learn of it the moment the witches step unto the stage , when they foresee the circumstances of their next meeting . At first it seems like a decision made , but it isn 't truly one , as the reference is to the battle which is to be over before they can meet ( When the battle 's lost and won (I , i , 14 . If here their prophetical powers are , as of yet , doubtful , they prove themselves with certainty to Banquo and to Macbeth when they greet the duo . Though the characters themselves may not know it yet , but we know with a certainty that these prophecies will come true

Besides the gift of prophecy , the witches seem to show a whole array of fantastic powers , traditional to English Renaissance beliefs that were held of witches . They are able to stir and quell the winds "FIRST WITCH : I myself have all the other /And the very ports they blow /All the quarters that they know (I , iii , 14-16 , they are able to divine a man 's fate from a short interaction with his wife , and , moreover , to influence it rather directly . They are able to vanish and appear at will , to summon spirits and to boil broths of a decidedly unwholesome nature , at least , judging from the ingredients . Even if they are mere herbs , as the infamous "eye of newt and toe of frog " case goes , the effect is , nevertheless , well created - the "liver of a blaspheming Jew...

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