In the play, Macbeth by Shakespeare the three female witches play an important part in the development of the story.  This essay will analyze the dramatic function of the witches in Act I of Macbeth.

I think that the reason that Shakespeare begins the play with the witches is to give us the impression that everything starts with the witches, that is they are the catalysts for everything that happens in the play. 

I think that the witches are also there to set the mood for the play, “Hover through the fog and filthy air.”  This line gives us a sense of loneliness and desperation.

The play would be drastically different if it sprang from Macbeth’s own mind and he did not have any influence from the witches.  If Macbeth did not have any influence from the witches then he probably would not be thinking about killing Duncan to become King. 

But with the witches’ help, this idea was thrust to the front of his mind and he thinks that he should kill Duncan because the witches say that it is his destiny. I am sure that Macbeth would not be as hesitant if the idea to kill Duncan came from his head without the witches’ help.

I say this because when you reason things out by yourself you tend to know what is right and what is wrong, a conscience.  But with the outside influence from the witches, he thinks that that is his destiny and he must do everything to fulfill it.

What the witches say in the beginning is what influences the entire plot.  Macbeth hears these words and then tries to make them happen because he listened to the witches and thinks that he is to become King.  Macbeth wants this to happen so badly that he tries to come up with plans and arrange things in order for himself to meet this particular destiny.

The witches are essential to the play Macbeth, and without them, the plot of the play might be totally different, Macbeth might not kill Duncan, and so on.  But we will never know because Shakespeare did not make two versions of his classic play.

Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Analysis of Witches in Macbeth," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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