In Macbeth, why are the three witches important?

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The Three Witches in Shakespeare's play Macbeth serve at least two important functions. First, the witches establish a supernatural element to the play, which contributes to the theme "fair is foul, and foul is fair." Throughout the play, Shakespeare introduces various supernatural elements to set an ominous mood, reveal certain internal qualities of characters, and heighten the suspense of the drama. The Three Witches themselves introduce the idea that "fair is foul, and foul is fair," which runs throughout the entire play. As the play progresses, characters continually misinterpret behaviors, signs, and prophecies.

In addition to establishing a supernatural element and introducing a primary theme of the play, the Three Witches also serve as instruments of fate by delivering their prophecies to Macbeth and Banquo . When the Three Witches initially meet Macbeth and Banquo on the heath, they call Macbeth the Thane of Glamis, the Thane of Cawdor, and the future king of Scotland. Once...

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