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In "Macbeth," what predictions do the witches make about Macbeth's future?

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sashay | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2008 at 2:46 AM via web

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In "Macbeth," what predictions do the witches make about Macbeth's future?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 16, 2008 at 5:51 AM (Answer #1)

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They predict 2 events of Macbeth in the first Act.  They greet him with 3 different titles.  They hail him as "Thane of Glamis"--which he currently is.  Then they hail him as "Thane of Cawdor," which he is about to become because of his valiant efforts in battle.  Then they hail him as "King."  This last title is what creates the tragedy of the play.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 16, 2008 at 7:05 AM (Answer #2)

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The first set of predictions, or prophecies may start the action of the tragedy in motion, but the second prophecy seals Macbeth's fate.

In Act IV, Scene I, Macbeth visits the witches, he demands information about his future.  This second prophecy leads Macbeth to be more paranoid and results in his ordering the deaths of Macduff's family.

The witches makes four mysterious predictions, that are more like warnings for Macbeth's future as king. 

The first: Beware the Thane of Fife, Macduff.

The second: "The power of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth." (Act IV, Sc I)

The third: "Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are:Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him."   

The fourth: "A show of Eight Kings; the last with a glass in his hand: BANQUO'S Ghost following."

"Macbeth is out of control and reacts without thought to his actions. He feels he must spill blood to remain in control and powerful. Once again Macbeth has innocent blood on his hands, and again, he feels no remorse. He is driven by his lust to control the situation and flex his power."

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animedgirl | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2011 at 12:45 AM (Answer #3)

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The Witches prophecies quite a few things...

1. All hail Macbeth, Thane of Glamis! (He is already Thane of Glamis)

2. All hail Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor! (He is about to become Thane of Cawdor)

3. All hail Macbeth, King hereafter! (He is going to be King)

4. Beware Macduff, Thane of Fife

5. No man of woman born can harm Macbeth

6. Until Great Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill, he cannot be vanquished.

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desertr | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2009 at 3:22 PM (Answer #4)

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what conflict arises in macbeth after the first prediction proves true?

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desertr | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2009 at 3:31 PM (Answer #5)

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What personality trait of her husbands oes lady macbeth fear? what does this fear tell you about lady macbeths character?

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