In Macbeth, how does Macbeth react when he encounters the appartitions? What does his reaction reveal about how he has changed?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In the beginning of the play, Macbeth was in awe of the witches.  There was a sort of respect for them and their visions.  Now in Act IV, scene 1, Macbeth scorns them and insults them when asking for the answers to his questions.  He demands (conjures) them up and then wants answers right then and there.

"How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!  What is't you do?  I conjure you, by that which you profess, Howe'er you come to know it, answer me"

He is very demanding and expects them to give him what he wants.  Then when the apparitions appear he expects them to speak with him, not to him.  The first witch instructs him to be quiet.  She tells him they read his thoughts.  He still tries to command the apparitions to tell him more.  This is very different from the Macbeth who met the witches in the beginning.

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