The Three Witches (also known as the weird sisters) are supernatural characters in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth. This article is about the artist William Rimmer For the brass band composer of the same name see William Rimmer (music. William Shakespeare ( baptised Macbeth is among the best-known of William Shakespeare 's plays, and is his shortest tragedy, believed to have been written some time between They inform Macbeth that he is destined to be king and urge him to bloody, ambitious acts. They also show him visions of his fate, though their guidance ultimately leads to his destruction. Many of their parts are drawn directly from Holinshed's Chronicles, a popular history of the British Isles in Shakespeare's day. Raphael Holinshed (died c 1580 was an English Chronicler whose work commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by Their character is based on the Norns of Scandinavian legend and the three fates of both Latin and Greek mythology. The Norns ( Old Norse: norn, plural nornir) are a kind of Dísir, numerous female beings who rule the fates of the various races of Norse The Parcae, in Roman mythology, were the personifications of Destiny (often called The Fates in English The Moirae or Moerae (in Greek – the " apportioners " often called the The Fates) in Greek mythology, were the white-robed
The Witches' dark and contradictory nature is said by many scholars to set the tone for the play. For a Shakespearean audience, their presence would have represented rebellion and treason in the worst sense. The manner in which they tempt Macbeth to his deeds matches the manner in which many at the time argued the devil tempted men, by placing a thought in their minds and letting it grow into an act. The Devil is the Not all of the scenes in which the witches appear, however, are thought to have been written by Shakespeare. In fact, several scenes may have been lifted directly from The Witch by Thomas Middleton. This article is about the play For other uses see Witch (disambiguation. Thomas Middleton (1580 &ndash 1627 was an English Jacobean playwright and Poet.
In the 18th century, as Shakespearean as well as supernatural art began to become popular, the witches were portrayed in a variety of different ways by artists such as Henry Fuseli. Henry Fuseli (in German Johann Heinrich Füssli; February 7, 1741 – April 16, 1825) was a British painter Since then, their role has proven somewhat difficult for many directors to portray, due to the tendency to make their parts exaggerated or overly sensational. Some have adapted the original Macbeth into different cultures, as in Orson Welles' performance making the witches voodoo priestesses, among others. Film performances have also taken liberties, turning the witches into characters familiar to the modern world, such as hippies on dope, or goth schoolgirls. Their influence reaches the literary realm as well in such works as The Third Witch, and even the Harry Potter series. The Third Witch is a novel written by Rebecca Reisert. It was first published in 2001. Harry Potter is a series of seven Fantasy novels written by British author J
The witches appear in the very first scene of the play, deciding among themselves to meet Macbeth after the battle he is fighting is over. Macbeth is the main character in William Shakespeare ’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Two scenes later, they meet and stop Macbeth and Banquo as they return home from the battle, hailing Macbeth in particular as a great king and ruler. Banquo is a character in William Shakespeare 's 1606 play Macbeth. They hail Banquo as "lesser" than Macbeth, but still great, prophesying that he will never be King, but that his children will be. Macbeth pleads with them to explain, but they disappear.
After a brief appearance in Act three in which the witches meet with Hecate, the witches meet again in Act four. Hecate ( Greek: Ἑκάτη, "far-shooting") Hekate ( Hekátê At the beginning of the first scene in this act, they are singing as they brew a concoction in a cauldron. Macbeth appears. By this point he has become King through a series of murders and intrigues. They tell Macbeth to be more bloody and murderous, and to beware Macduff, although they add that Macbeth cannot be harmed by any man born of woman. Macduff is a Fictional character in Shakespeare 's play Macbeth. They also tell Macbeth that his kingdom will not fall until the trees of the forest come up to his castle walls. They then show Macbeth a vision of Banquo and a line of his descendants, all kings. All of their prophecies come true, as Macduff cuts the trees and uses them as camouflage for his army as they approach the forest. A battle ensues in which he and Macbeth meet and it is revealed that Macduff was not, in fact "born of woman" but was "untimely ripp'd" from his mother's womb. Macbeth is slain by Macduff and the kingdom taken.
Shakespeare's main source for Macbeth was Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of Britain, Scotland, and Ireland written in 1577. Raphael Holinshed (died c 1580 was an English Chronicler whose work commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by The Three Witches are described in this piece as "three women in strange and wild apparell, resembling creatures of elder world. " The women in Holinshed's work utter in many places exactly the same words as Shakespeare gives them in his play. Further back, these three women are based on the Norns of Scandinavian legend, and the three fates of both Latin and Greek mythology. The Norns ( Old Norse: norn, plural nornir) are a kind of Dísir, numerous female beings who rule the fates of the various races of Norse The Parcae, in Roman mythology, were the personifications of Destiny (often called The Fates in English The Moirae or Moerae (in Greek – the " apportioners " often called the The Fates) in Greek mythology, were the white-robed  The place where Macbeth and Banquo first meet the three witches is traditionally known as Macbeth's Hillock, an area near Forres at the mouth of the River Findhorn in Scotland. Forres ( Gaelic Farrais) is a town and former Royal burgh situated in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast approximately The River Findhorn ( Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Eireann) is one of the longest rivers in Scotland. Forres is the traditional living-place of both Duncan and Macbeth, as well. 
In the play, the Three Witches represent darkness, chaos, and conflict. Their presence communicates treason and impending doom. During Shakespeare's day, witches were seen as worse than rebels, "the most notorious traytor and rebell that can be. " They were not only political traitors, but spiritual traitors as well. Much of the confusion that springs from them comes from their ability to straddle the play's borders between reality and the supernatural. They are so deeply entrenched in both worlds that it is unclear whether they control fate, or whether they are merely its agents. They defy logic, not being subject to the rules of the real world. 
The witches' lines in the first act: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air. " are often said to set the tone for the rest of the play by establishing a sense of confusion. Indeed, the play is filled with situations in which evil is said to be good, and good, evil. The lines "Double, double toil and trouble," which are often sensationalized to the point that they lose meaning, actually communicate the witches' intent quite well: that of causing more and more trouble for the mortals around them. The witches also never tell Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Donnchad mac Crínáin ( Modern Gaelic: Donnchadh mac Crìonain) anglicised as Duncan I, and nicknamed An t-Ilgarach, "the Diseased" They use a subtler form of temptation, merely telling Macbeth that he is destined to be king. By placing this thought in his mind, they effectively guide him on the path to his own destruction. This follows the pattern of temptation many believed the Devil used at the time of Shakespeare. The Devil is the First, they argued, a thought is put in a man's mind, then the person may either indulge in the thought or reject it. Macbeth indulges in it, while Banquo rejects. 
Several of the witches' parts are thought to have been added after the original play's completion, perhaps around 1618 using text from The Witch. This article is about the play For other uses see Witch (disambiguation. The added text involves Hecate and the Three Witches in Act III, scene v, and Act IV, scene i, lines 39-43 and 125-32, and includes two songs. Hecate ( Greek: Ἑκάτη, "far-shooting") Hekate ( Hekátê 
William Davenant's version of the play added a scene in which the Witches tell Macduff and his wife of their future. Sir William Davenant (baptised 3 March, 1606 &ndash April 7, 1668) also spelled D'Avenant, was an English Poet He also added several lines to their parts before Macbeth's entrance in Act four. Most of these lines were taken directly from Thomas Middleton's play The Witch. Thomas Middleton (1580 &ndash 1627 was an English Jacobean playwright and Poet. This article is about the play For other uses see Witch (disambiguation. David Garrick kept these added scenes in his 18th-century version. David Garrick (born 19 February 1717 in Hereford &ndash 20 January 1779) was an English Actor, Playwright,  Horace Walpole created a parody of Macbeth in 1742 entitled The Dear Witches in response to political problems of his time. Horace Walpole 4th Earl of Orford ( 24 September, 1717 &ndash 2 March, 1797) more commonly known as Horace Walpole, was a politician The witches in his play are played by three everyday women who manipulate political events in England through marriage and patronage, and manipulate elections in order to have Macbeth made Treasurer and Earl of Bath. In the final scene, the which gather around a cauldron and chant "Double, double, Toil and Trouble / parties burn and Nonsense bubble. " In their concoction they throw such things as "Judgment of a Beardless Youth" and "Liver of a Renegade. " The entire play is a commentary on the political corruption and insanity surrounding the period. 
Orson Welles' production of Macbeth set the play in Haiti, and made the witches voodoo priestesses. George Orson Welles (May 6 1915 – October 10 1985 was an Academy Award -winning director, writer actor and producer for film stage radio and television Like other versions, Welles also has the witches stand as silent lookers-on to the murder of Banquo, as well as Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking scene. Lady Macbeth is a character in William Shakespeare play Macbeth. Their role in each of these scenes communicated the idea that they were behind Macbeth's fall in a more direct way than the original portrays. The witches' encroach further and further into his domain as the play progresses, appearing in the forest in the first scene and in the castle itself by the end. Directors often have difficulty keeping the witches from being exaggerated and overly-sensational. 
Charles Marowitz created A Macbeth in 1969, a streamlined version of the play which requires only eleven actors. Charles Marowitz (born 1934 is an influential American Critic, Theatre director, and Playwright who has been a "regular columnist on SWANS The play strongly suggests that Lady Macbeth is in league with the witches. Lady Macbeth is a character in William Shakespeare play Macbeth. One particular scene includes her leading the witches in a firelight incantation. In a satirical version of the play by Eugène Ionesco entitled Macbett (1972), one of the witches removes a costume to reveal that she is, in fact, Lady Duncan, who wants to be Macbeth's mistress. Macbett (1972 is Eugène Ionesco 's Satire on Shakespeare 's Macbeth. Once Macbeth is King and they are married, however, she abandons him, revealing that she was not Lady Duncan all along, but a witch. The real Lady Duncan appears and denounces Macbeth as a traitor. 
León Felipe, a Latin American playwright, wrote a version of the play in Spanish which significantly changes the witches' role, especially in the final scene. León Felipe Camino Galicia ( 11 April 1884 - 17 September 1968) was a Spanish Poet. After Macbeth's death, the three witches reappear in the midst of wind and storm, which they have been associated with throughout the play, to claim his corpse. They carry it to a ravine and shout, "Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! / We have an appointment with you in Hell!" Within the play, they also connect themselves to a famous painting by Francisco Goya called Volaverunt, in which three mysterious figures are flying through the air and supporting a more discernible royal female figure. 
Drawings contained in Holinshed's Chronicles, one of the sources Shakespeare used when creating the characters, portray them as members of the upper class. They are wearing elaborate dresses and hairstyles and appear to be noblewomen as Macbeth and Banquo approach. Shakespeare seems to have diverted quite a bit from this image, making the witches (as Banquo says) "withered, and so wild in their attire, / That look not like th' inhabitants o' th' earth. . . each at once her choppy fingers laying / Upon her skinny lips. You should be women, / And yet your beards forbid me to interpret / That you are so. "
The Three Witches of Macbeth have inspired several painters over the years who have sought to capture the supernatural darkness surrounding Macbeth's encounters with them. For example, by the eighteenth century, belief in witches had waned in the United Kingdom. Such things were thought to be the simple stories of foreigners, farmers, and superstitious Catholics. Despite lack of belief in witches, however, art depicting supernatural beings became very popular at the time. John Runciman, as one of the first artists to use Shakespearean characters in his work, created an ink-on-paper drawing entitled The Three Witches in 1767-68. John Runciman (1744-1766 was a Scottish painter He was the younger brother of the better-known Alexander Runciman, and accompanied him to Naples, In it, three ancient figures are shown in close consultation, their heads together and their bodies unshown. Runciman's brother created another drawing of the witches called The Witches show Macbeth The Apparitions painted circa 1771-1772, portraying Macbeth's reaction to the power of the witches' conjured vision. Both brothers' work influenced many later artists by removing the characters from the familiar theatrical setting and placing them in the world of the story. 
Henry Fuseli would later create one of the more famous portrayals of the Three Witches in 1783, entitled The Weird Sisters or The Three Witches. Henry Fuseli (in German Johann Heinrich Füssli; February 7, 1741 – April 16, 1825) was a British painter In it, the witches are lined up and dramatically pointing at something all at once, their faces in profile. This painting was parodied by James Gillray in 1791 in Weird Sisters; Ministers of Darkness; Minions of the Moon. Three figures are lined up with their faces in profile in a way similar to Fuseli's painting. However, the three figures are recognizable as Lord Dundas (the home secretary at the time), William Pitt (prime minister), and Lord Thurlow (Lord Chancellor). Marquess of Zetland is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office William Pitt may refer to William Pitt 1st Earl of Chatham (1708–1778 Prime Minister of Great Britain 1766–1768 often known as William Pitt the Elder Baron Thurlow, of Thurlow in the County of Suffolk is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor is a senior and important functionary in the Government of the United Kingdom. The three of them are facing a moon, which contains the profiled faces of George III and Queen Charlotte. George III (George William Frederick 4 June 1738 George III's long reign was marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdom much of the rest of Europe and places Queen Charlotte, (née Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; 19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was the The drawing is intended to highlight the insanity of King George and the unusual alliance of the three men who take the place of the witches. 
Fuseli created two other works depicting the three witches for a Dublin art gallery in 1794. The first, entitled Macbeth, Banquo and the Three Witches was a frustration for him. His earlier paintings of Shakespearean scenes had been done on horizontal canvases, giving the viewer a picture of the scene that was similar to what would have been seen on stage. Woodmason requested vertical paintings, shrinking the space Fuseli had to work with. In this particular painting he uses lightning and other dramatic effects to separated Macbeth and Banquo from the witches more clearly and communicate how unnatural their meeting is. Macbeth and Banquo are both visibly terrified, while the witches are confidently perched atop a mound. Silhouettes of the victorious army of Macbeth can be seen celebrating in the background, but lack of space necessitates the removal of the barren, open landscape seen in Fuseli's earlier paintings for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery of the same scene. The Boydell Shakespeare Gallery was a three-part project initiated in November 1786 by Engraver and publisher John Boydell in an effort to foster a school 
Fuseli's other Macbeth Woodmason painting Macbeth and the Armed Head depicts a later scene in which Macbeth is shown MacDuff and warned to be wary of him. Fuseli evidently intended the two paintings to be juxtaposed. He said, "when Macbeth meets with the witches on the heath, it is terrible, because he did not expect the supernatural visitation; but when he goes to the cave to ascertain his fate, it is no longer a subject of terror. " Fuseli chose to make MacDuff a near-likeness of Macbeth himself, and considered the painting one of his most poetic in that sense, asking, "'What would be a greater object of terror to you if, some night on going home, you were to find yourself sitting at your own table . . . would not this make a powerful impression on your mind?"
At least fifteen operas have been based on Macbeth, but only one is regularly performed today. This is Macbeth, composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and premièred in Florence in 1847. Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei Francesco Maria Piave ( 18 May 1810 &ndash 5 March 1876) was an Italian librettist who was Verdi 's life-long Florence ( Italian: Firenze Florentia and Fiorenza) is the Capital City of the Italian region of Tuscany In the opera, the three witches became a chorus of at least eighteen singers, divided into three groups. Each group enters separately at the start of the opera for the scene with Macbeth and Banquo; after the men's departure, they have a chorus of triumph which does not derive from Shakespeare. They reappear in Act 3, when they conjure up the three apparitions and the procession of kings. When Verdi revised the opera for performance in Paris in 1865, he added a ballet (rarely performed nowadays) to this scene. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city In it, Hecate, a non-dancing character, mimes instructions to the witches before a final dance and Macbeth's arrival. 
Orson Welles created a film version of the play in 1948, sometimes called the Ubermensch Macbeth, altered the witches' roles by having them create a voodoo doll of Macbeth in the first scene. George Orson Welles (May 6 1915 – October 10 1985 was an Academy Award -winning director, writer actor and producer for film stage radio and television Macbeth is a 1948 film adaptation of William Shakespeare 's Tragedy Macbeth made by Orson Welles. Critics take this as a sign that they control his actions completely throughout the play. Their voices are heard, but their faces are never seen, and they carry forked staffs as dark parallels to the Celtic cross. Welles' voiceover in the prologue calls them "agents of chaos, priests of hell and magic. " At the end of the film, when their work with Macbeth is finished, they cut off the head of his voodoo doll. 
Throne of Blood, a Japanese version filmed in 1958 by Akira Kurosawa, replaces the three witches with the Forest Spirit, an old hag who sits at her spinning wheel, symbolically entrapping Macbeth's Japanese equivalent, Washizu, in the web of his own ambition. is a 1957 film directed by Akira Kurosawa, which transposes the plot of William Shakespeare's play Macbeth to medieval Japan. She lives outside "The Castle of the Spider's Web", another reference to Macbeth's entanglement in her trap.  Roman Polanski's 1971 film version of Macbeth contained many parallels to his personal life in its graphic and violent depictions. Macbeth is a 1971 film directed by Roman Polanski, based on William Shakespeare 's The Tragedy of Macbeth, about the Scots Lord His wife Sharon Tate had been murdered two years earlier by Charles Manson and three women. Sharon Marie Tate (January 24 1943 – August 9 1969 was an American actress. Many critics saw this as a clear parallel to Macbeth's murders at the urging of the Three Witches within the film. 
Scotland, PA, a 2001 parody directed by Billy Morrissette, sets the play in a restaurant in modern Pennsylvania. Scotland Pa is a 2002 Film, directed and written by Billy Morrissette based on William Shakespeare 's Macbeth starring The witches are replaced by three hippies on marijuana who give Joe McBeth drug-induced suggestions and prophecies throughout the film using a Magic 8-Ball. After McBeth has killed Duncan, one of them suggests, "I've got it! Mac should kill McDuff's entire family!" Another hippie responds, "Oh, that'll work! Maybe a thousand years ago. You can't go around killing everybody. " Geoffrey Wright's 2006 Macbeth takes place in the midst of a modern Australian gang and drug culture. For the American actor see Jeffrey Wright. Geoffrey Wright is an Australian Film director born in Melbourne in 1959 Macbeth (also known as M) is an Australian 2006 film adaptation of William Shakespeare 's Macbeth The three witches are replaced by three teenage goth schoolgirls who are knocking down headstones in a graveyard in the opening scene. The goth subculture is a contemporary Subculture found in many countries They whisper their prophecies in Macbeths ear as they dance in a deserted nightclub joined by his wife, urging him to murder in order to gain power. 
Come and Go, a short play written in 1965 by Samuel Beckett, recalls the Three Witches of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. William Shakespeare ( baptised Macbeth is among the best-known of William Shakespeare 's plays, and is his shortest tragedy, believed to have been written some time between It features only three characters, all women, named Flo, Vi, and Ru. The opening line: “When did we three last meet?”  recalls the “When shall we three meet again?” of Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 1.  The Third Witch, a 2001 novel written by Rebecca Reisert, tells the story of the play through the eyes of Gilly, one of the witches. The Third Witch is a novel written by Rebecca Reisert. It was first published in 2001. Gilly seeks Macbeth's death out of revenge for killing her father. 
J. K. Rowling has cited the Three Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth as an influence in her Harry Potter series. Joanne "Jo" Rowling OBE (born 31 July 1965 who writes under the William Shakespeare ( baptised Macbeth is among the best-known of William Shakespeare 's plays, and is his shortest tragedy, believed to have been written some time between Harry Potter is a series of seven Fantasy novels written by British author J In an interview with The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, when asked, "What if [Voldemort] never heard the prophecy?", she said, "It's the “Macbeth” idea. The Leaky Cauldron, also called Leaky, TLC, or Leaky News, is a Harry Potter Fansite and Blog. MuggleNet is a commercial Harry Potter Fansite founded by Emerson Spartz. I absolutely adore “Macbeth. ” It is possibly my favourite Shakespeare play. And that's the question isn't it? If Macbeth hadn't met the witches, would he have killed Duncan? Would any of it have happened? Is it fated or did he make it happen? I believe he made it happen. Macbeth is the main character in William Shakespeare ’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. " On her website, she referred to Macbeth again in discussing the prophecy: "the prophecy (like the one the witches make to Macbeth, if anyone has read the play of the same name) becomes the catalyst for a situation that would never have occurred if it had not been made. "