In Macbeth, what were the three predictions of the witches?

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billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

When Macbeth and Banquo first encounter them in Act 1, Scene 3 of the play, the three witches make three predictions:

The Second Witch predicts that Macbeth will be made Thane of Cawdor.

"All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!

The Third Witch predicts that Macbeth will become king.

All hail, Macbeth, that shall be king hereafter!

Then Banquo asks them to predict his own future.

If you can look into the seeds of time

And say which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear

Your favors nor your hate.

The First Witch calls Banquo, "Lesser than Macbeth and greater," and The Third Witch makes the the third prediction:

Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.

So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

Macbeth learns very quickly that he has been named Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan, who had ordered the present Thane of Cawdor to be executed for treason. This sudden fulfillment of the first prediction in the very same scene makes a strong impression on both Macbeth and Banquo. It will lead to the murders of both Duncan and Banquo.

just-s's profile pic

just-s | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

thane of glamis, thane of cawdor and to be king

kimpdancer's profile pic

kimpdancer | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

You need to specify which act you are talking about, first of all.

In Act 1, the three predictions are thane of glamis, thane of cawdor, and king of scotland.

In Act 3(?), The three predictions are beware of Macduff, no one born of woman will harm Macbeth, and no man will harm him until Birnam wood moves.

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