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Module 1: Macbeth Act Four

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Act four, scene one

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English - Act four, scene one

Act four, scene one

_The witches weave their magic potions to create apparitions which
Macbeth believes predict his future_

READ ALONG WHILE LISTENING AND SCROLL OVER THE HIGHLIGHTED WORDS

;
Fire burn, and bubble.

Fillet of a snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of , and toe of frog,
and tongue of dog,
and ,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a boil and bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

(Act 4, Sc 1 10-19)
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QUESTIONS:

1. What was Shakespeare's intention to the audience by the inclusion of
this spell in Macbeth?
2. What is the purpose of the witches spell?
3. Why does Macbeth come to see the witches?

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Macbeth approaches the witches and demands to know his fate. They call on
their masters who present themselves to Macbeth in three different forms.

The first apparition, in the form of an armed head, warns Macbeth to
beware of Macduff. The second apparition, takes the form of a bloody child
and informs Macbeth that no man born of woman will be able to harm him. The
final apparition tells Macbeth that he will be safe until Birnam Wood moves
toward Dunsinane.

The effect of these apparitions lull Macbeth into a false sense of
security. He is well pleased, believing that there is none who can harm
him. Macbeth begs to know if Banquo's sons will ever become kings and the
witches show him a line of kings resembling Banquo and whom Banquo stands
behind and points at.

Afterwards, Macbeth professes that he will act on all his impulses from
then on and orders Macduff's castle to be surprised and his wife and
children to be murdered. The audience is horrified at how evil Macbeth has
come.

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