• Significance of scene: Sets the general mood of the play as well as foreshadows what is to come. Without this scene, the reader would be left unknowing as to the atmosphere of the play and all it entails. • Metaphor analysis: The first witch remarks “When shall we meet again? In thunder, lightning, or rain?” (1.1.12-13). This line is in reference to when the witches will approach Macbeth: before, during, or after the battle he is about to be involved in, with thunder representing before, lighting during, and rain after.
The otherworldly witches that kick off the production already set a surreal tone to the entire play opening the play to the supernatural. Speaking in their double language, and saying that famous line “Fair is foul and foul is fair” sets the course for a major theme that appears throughout the play. The line points to the play 's concern with the discrepancy between the difference between how someone seems and how someone is. Macbeth, when he almost quotes the line verbatim on his first entrance, following his victory comments on the weather: “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.” The weather is "foul" but the day meaning "the outcome of the battle" is "fair". The day is foul and fair at once.
The extract is taken from Act 3 Scene 5 of Macbeth written by William Shakespeare. It appears that Shakespeare is using this scene to further intensify the mysterious atmosphere and highlight supernatural elements in the play. The scene also serves to highlight crucial aspects of the character and personality of Macbeth which would ultimately prove to be the cause of his downfall. From the very beginning one can see that Hecate is very angry with the witches as is evident by her referring to the witches as “beldams”, “saucy” and “overbold”. She also questions the witches as to why she was not called to take part in plotting the downfall of Macbeth, evident by her statement; “To trade and traffic … Or show the glory of our art?” The words “trade” and “traffic” (of riddles and affairs of death) highlight the fact that Hecate and the weird sisters are not new to spouting prophecies, spreading evil, and destroying noble men, and have probably been the cause of the downfall of men like Macbeth.
With such dual and conflicting natures this ultimately breaks Macbeth until the facade that he put on begins to crack and fall away, showing the face of the “true villain”. Although we are not introduced to Macbeth until Act I Scene 3, there is some information revealed about him beforehand. The otherworldly witches that kick off the production set a surreal tone to the entire play opening the universe to the supernatural, speaking in their double language, and saying that famous line “Fair is foul and foul is fair” sets the course for a major theme that appears throughout the play. But in relation to all of this they mention Macbeth and how
Shakespeare plays manikin expert with the character Macbeth by dangling his destiny before him, yet in the meantime it is Macbeth's own craving and scholarly perspectives that lead him into emotional instability and finally enduring his foreshadowed destiny. There are three witches in the beginning of the play and they discuss where they are going to meet again. They go on to say where they will be meeting Macbeth and they all join together and say “foul is fair and fair is foul”(Shakespeare 7). Macbeth is walking with his partner Banquo and he states “so foul and fair a day I have not seen” (Shakespeare 17) which explains how the day is foul due to the witches raisin’ a storm and fair because he won a war. By both the witches and Macbeth stating these quote shows a connection between the dark forces and Macbeth.
Another intriguing yet blatant aspect of loss of identity in Shakespeare's play is drawn from Macbeth's drastic change in personality which drives from his thirst for power that starts to control him; ultimately changing who he ends up to be. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a highly respected individual - saluted for his service to the King. However when he meets the witches and is spoken to about the prophecy, this begins to change. Macbeth is immediately inclined to believe what the witches have to say through their persuasive and manipulative speech. One of the witches exclaims 'All hail, Macbeth - that shalt be King hereafter!'.
She believes that since the witches have prophesied that he would become Thane of Cawdor, and king, that only the first half of the prophecy has come true so far, and that with his “stir” they will acquire the title promised. She puts Macbeth’s hamartia: ambition, against him, and try to play him into doing what she believes will get him the crown. Macbeth may be a man, and as a man he should take responsibility for his actions overall. However without the cause of Lady Macbeth to test him and push him towards doing the deed, there would be no effect of him killing innocent men. Throughout the play we see Macbeth question his manhood and bravery, his wife adds onto that doubt by calling him a coward and showing him a way he could fix his problems overall.
What may appear to be true may not be the reality at all. This is a philosophical aspect thoroughly exhibited through Lady Macbeth, a female protagonist from the great tragic play Macbeth, by Shakespeare. Lady Macbeth is presented to be a fiend -like character throughout the play but there is a significant difference between her portrayal of a fiend- like character, and her essentially being a fiend. This conflict of Lady Macbeth being a fiend like character, and changing from the perspective of the audience later on, displays the theme of the play, appearance versus reality. Lady Macbeth is shown to be demonic before she is crowned queen, although this might not be the full picture.
The otherworldly witches that kick off the production set a surreal tone to the entire play, opening the universe to the supernatural, speaking in their double language, and saying that famous line “Fair is foul and foul is fair”(Pg. 129; 1.1.9) which sets the course for a major theme that appears throughout the play. In relation to all of this, they mention Macbeth and how they were planning to meet him. Although that does not speak to who Macbeth is directly, it does create a link between himself and the Weird Sisters, which is not a positive one. The next piece of information that is revealed about Macbeth is during the dialogue between Duncan and the bleeding sergeant.
After this battle Macbeth and his comrade Banquo come across the witches. This sets in motion the entire story. One of the witches says “All hail, Macbeth to thee, thane of Cawdor” (Shakespeare, 1/3/60) this of course surprises Macbeth, he is not the Thane of Cawdor. Then one of the other witches says “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (1/3/61). This is where Macbeth’s ambition to become the king starts to overcome him, he starts to imagine what it would be like to be king of Scotland.