What ingredients were placed in the cauldron to make the magical spells specially for Macbeth's doom and destruction?

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Shakespeare's Macbeth, you can find these ingredients for yourself in Act IV:i.  The list starts at line eight with "poisoned entrails."  The mixture includes snake fillet, a newt's eye, snake tongue, wolf tooth, goat gall, body parts of various races or nationalities of humans that were considered enemies of Christianity in Shakespeare's time, etc.  The list ends with baboon's blood at line 38 when Hecate arrives on scene.

The scene is grotesque and contributes to motif, imagery, and theme in the play:  blood, body parts, animal imagery, gall, the unnatural--all these are repeated in this list of ingredients and throughout the play.

And of course, the scene leads into Macbeth's arrival, when "Something wicked this way comes."

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