Macbeth, Puppet Masters Witch Essay, Research Paper
William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, or The Scottis Play in 1606, and the play was actually based on an area of Scottish History. There was a Scottish King Duncan who ruled an area called Cumbria in 1018, and did so until 1034 when Macbeth and combined forces killed him over the claim to rightful kingship because of his mother who was a daughter of king Malcom II, though Macbeth was Duncan s first cousin. Duncan just killed alot of people after Maclom II died so he could get where he was. The play was based on those facts in ways, but written for the present king who fancied witchcraft and things of that kind.
Some should wonder what the play had have been like if the witches weren t included. Would Shakespeare have even bothered putting his name on the play? Due to the King s fascination of the topic of witchcraft this play was basically made for him. If the witches hadn t been created, Macbeth would have only stayed thane of Glamis and Cawdor with much surprise, not by the witches ill will, but by Duncan s word. It may have been just coincidence that it all fitted together. Basically opposed to the original happenings, the 3 Witches fueled the plot.
The three witches open the play but until Act 1 Scene 3 is where one would really be grabbed by the witches intentions, ability s and personalities. One witch comments on how she will cast a spell on the captain of a ship and make his nights sleepless and his ship lost on a storm, though she cannot sink it because his wife wouldn t give her chestnuts . But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
And, like a rat without a tail,
I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
SECOND WITCH: I’ll give thee a wind.
FIRST WITCH: Thou’rt kind.
THIRD WITCH: And I another.
FIRST WITCH: I myself have all the other,
And the very ports they blow,
All the quarters that they know
I’ the shipman s card.
I will drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his penthouse lid;
He shall live a man forbid.
Weary se night s nine times nine
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine;
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-toss’d.
Look what I have.
SECOND WITCH: Show me, show me.
FIRST WITCH: Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
So she already has his thumb or thumbs, making it hard for any person to navigate a ship without them or the use of them. The point is without the shape shifting and witchcraft deal it already would have been quite an opening with 3 nasty sisters and a captains thumb(s) but it probably would not have sparked as much interest in the king or other viewers.
Then Macbeth and Banquo come riding by, they hear the witches and go over to see what is going on. Macbeth gets hailed by the witches as Thane of Glamis, Cawdor, and King thereafter. This scares Macbeth quite a bit
MACBETH: Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.
By Sinel s death I know I am Thane of Glamis;
But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman; and to be King
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence, or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you
Then after Ross and Angus ride by to congratulate Macbeth on his new title he is even more amazed their first prophecy came true. Then reporting back to Duncan s castle Macbeth is again reminded of his new thane-ship. Then Duncan gives Banquo a hug and compliments then appoints son Malcom king of Cumberland. Hearing this Macbeth s small warrior mind is angered that not all of his prophecies came true. From then until the next time Macbeth and the witches meet he has turned Scotland into a scary place, killed Banquo, Macduff’s wife and children, and killed anyone who is friends with or knew Macduff. From that point on there wouldn t have even been a play hadn t the witches been included.
The second and the last time Macbeth and the witches meet is in act 4, scene 1 in a cavern after the witches had already kept quite a disgusting brew of body parts of many different creatures warm for Macbeth. Macbeth demands they tell him his future and out of the cauldron come 3 Apparitions. One is a helmeted head telling him to beware Macduff, the Thane of Fife, the second is a bloody child telling him not to worry about much because no man of woman born can hurt him. The last is a child with a crown on his head holding a tree branch and a mirror tells him not to worry about anything until Great Birnam Wood (a forest) comes to High Dunsinane Hill, a castle where the King goes if the land is attacked. The mirror the child is holding reflects Kings that look much like Banquo in one way or another revealing the late Banquo s prophecy true, because the murderers just killed Banquo, and Fleance got away. These prophecies that are told by the Apparitions in some ways create a more colorful or interesting end to the play. In the book and in the movie Macbeth goes on a power trip and nonchalantly kills many warriors with the greatest of ease but before that discovered Macduff s and England s forces used branches from Brinam Wood to conceal their numbers, which enraged MacBeth. Finally facing MacDuff in a battle and acting quite confident he tells MacDuff to take his best shot it wont do him any good because if he was born OF a woman he couldn t be harmed,
Thou loosest labor.
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.
Then to MacBeth s utter amazement Macduff replies :
Despair thy charm,
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripp d
With that they fight and Macbeth gets his head cut off.
Without the witche s second intervention and them fueling the plot of the last act, it would have been
still quite an ending to the Tyrant but just not enough to live up to the rest of the play. Had Shakespeare just written what happened originally and made a play of it for one some people might have gotten mad at him and it just would have made a shorter, non-fictional play. Also it seems a fortunate coincidence for Shakespeare he had a way of altering a story while greatly pleasing the king. The witches were first brought up in the beginning, to give the reader or viewer a glimpse of the witch s powers and intentions, again to Fuel the play by meeting Macduff and Banquo giving their fortunes and fate. Last they appear being scorned by the Hecate, brewing up the magical soup awaiting MacBeth to show him the Apparations and his unclear future. Any time the witches showed their ugly faces it helped define the plot and give it meaning. Otherwise Shakespeare probably wouldn t have even bothered to put his name on the cursed play.