How does Banquo describe the witches appearance (1.3.45) and how does it fit with the larger themes of the play?

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danylyshen | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Banquo describes the witches as he says:

What are these
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire,(50)
That look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips. You should be women,(55)
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.

This fits into the larger themes of the play because the play is about the withering of the heart and the wildness that fester in the MacBeth's psyches.

Another key theme in MacBeth is that of the questioning man. MacBeth questions the authority, questions himself, and even Lady MacBeth questions him.
The theme of disguise and loose fitting clothes seem appropriate here also. MacBeth wears the robes not meant for him, just as the beards are not really meant for women.

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