The style and rhythm of the Captain's speeches in the. second scene should be illustrated by reference to the interlude in Hamlet, in which the epic is substituted for the tragic, in order to make the latter be felt as the real-life diction. In Macbeth, the poet's object was to raise the mind at once to the high tragic tone, that the audience might be ready for the precipitate consummation of guilt in the early part of the play. The true reason for the first appearance of the Witches is to strike the key-note of the character of the whole drama, as is proved by their reappearance in the third scene, after such an order of the king's as establishes their supernatural power of informa-tion. I say information,for so it only is as to Glamis and Cawdor; the 'king hereafter' was still contingent, still in Macbeth's moral will; although, if he should yield to the temptation, and thus forfeit his free agency, the link of cause and effect more physico would then commence. I need not say, that the general idea is all that can be required from the poet,not a scholastic logical consistency in all the parts so as to meet metaphysical objectors. But O! how truly Shakspearian is the opening of Macbeth's character given in the unpossessedness of Banquo's mind, wholly present to the present object, an unsullied, unscarified mirror!And how strictly true to nature it is, that Banquo, and not Macbeth himself, directs our notice to the effect produced on Macbeth's mind, rendered temptible by previous dalliance of the fancy with ambitious thoughts:
Brooding evil is a the major theme in Macbeth and is present throughout the play in both the characters and the events as they present different types of morality.
macbeth morality play essay - YouTube
Group of characters in Macbeth, supernatural beings who encourage Macbeth with evil inclinations.
Though their appearances are brief, the Witches have an important function in Macbeth. The play opens with their grim and stormy meeting, and this contributes greatly to its pervasive tone of mysterious evil. Moreover, they offer another important theme of the play, the psychology of evil. The Witches are an enactment of the irrational. The supernatural world is terrifying because it is beyond human control, and in the play it is therefore symbolic of the unpredictable force of human motivation.
Their deceptive pictures of the future-- both in their initial predictions of Macbeth's rise, and in the future prophecies of the Apparitions-- encourage in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth a false sense of what is desirable or even possible.
The magic of the Witches is thus an image of human moral disruption. Through their own uncertain nature, they demonstrate--and promote--the disruption of the world of the play.
Many people in Shakespeare's day believed in the reality of the supernatural world, but at the same time, a recognition that many folk were merely superstitious had arisen as well.