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What are the Witches doing at the beginning of Act IV?  no

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megamasta | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 5, 2012 at 5:20 AM via web

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What are the Witches doing at the beginning of Act IV?



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chasethesun | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 5, 2012 at 7:54 AM (Answer #1)

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At the beginning of this act, we see the iconic quote "Double double toil and trouble" as the witches prepare some kind of brew in their cauldron.  The witches describe all sorts of foul objects (such as a lizard's leg and and an owl's wing) being added to the brew, and many of these suggest dark symbolism.  The witches also hint at the presence of other spirits who speak to them.  They are waiting for Macbeth to arrive.  When he enters the scene, he demands to hear the witches' predictions.  They summon their "masters", three ghostly apparitions, who provide Macbeth with vague warnings against MacDuff, warnings that Macbeth does not ultimatley heed. Macbeth's questions lead the apparitions to dissipate without revealing more, but the scene ultimately foreshadows the events ahead.


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