Analysis Of The Three Weird Sisters In Macbeth

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The three Weird Sisters – or, more simply, the witches – are one of the most iconic and well known features of Macbeth. Iris Theatre’s production of the play portrayed them as controlling, demonic forces, and by doing this, dilutes the original moral message of the play. The Witches portrayal is one of the most important decisions that each production of Macbeth must make for itself. As Norton Shakespeare’s introduction to the play states, “What is the nature of these strange creatures that ‘look not like th’inhabitants o’th earth,’ as Banquo observes, ‘and yet are on’t’ (1.3.39 – 40)? Actors’ responses to these questions have ranged wildly, though virtually all productions have recognized that the witches’ scenes are among the most theatrically powerful and compelling in the play whether they are made up to look grotesque or stately, perversely comic or terrifying” (840). Iris Theatre’s production certainly made the decision to make the three look grotesque – the only non-period costumes in the show, the witches were giant bug-human hybrids, inspired by the imagery of Hieronymus Bosch. While the aesthetics of the trio were creepy, the more relevant decision that Iris Theatre made was to establish that the witches had the power to physically and mentally control human beings. This is established at the very beginning of the production. A scene only referenced but not shown in Shakespeare’s text, the show started with Macbeth in battle, slaying Macdonwald (this battle is

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