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Flashcards in The Witches Deck (5)
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1

Starts of with the witches

Play starts with thunder and lightning which sets a dark and violent mood. First characters on the stage. Shows how important the theme of supernatural is.
Speak in rhyming couplets
‘When the hurly-burlys done,/ when the battles lost and won’ - paradox
Only supernatural characters consistently use rhyme- sets them apart from other characters and makes their speech sound unnatural like a spell

2

‘Double double toil and trouble’

Rhyming couplets makes them sound persuasive and coercive like they are still casting spells
It also sets them apart from the protagonists
Use of trouble links to the supernatural throughout the play

3

‘By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes’

Rhyme adds a lyrical edge to the witches however this time they sound apprehensive. ‘Something’ - macbeth is no longer a human being
Notice he approaches them whereas before they waited for him. If appears that the witches have lost control.
‘Wicked’ links to something insidious and evil which arguably the witches set in motion

4

Supernatural and the witches

When play was written people and even king James believed in the supernatural
Witches are first characters we meet in the play and act as catalyst for main events
King James paranoid/ fearful of witches. To the Jacobean audience witches had to make a pact with the devil as a consequence rejecting any belief of god
Foreshadow events

5

‘Lesser man macbeth and greater. Not so happy yet much happier’

Seems to corrupt any moral values that macbeth and lady macbeth May have had
Language of the witches uses juxtaposition
The contradictions used in their language serve to confuse the protagonists moral compass and they lose the ability to see right from wrong