What powers do the three witches in Macbeth seem to possess? What do they prophesy will happen to Macbeth and Banquo? 

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In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the witches possess otherworldly knowledge. Upon meeting Macbeth for the first time, they know his name and his title, Thane of Glamis. They prophesy that Macbeth will become the Thane of Cawdor and then king. Further, they prophesy that Banquo will not sit upon the throne, but his descendants will.

The witches seem to possess many other powers in addition to prophecy. In act 1, scene 3, the first of the witches describes shape-shifting in order to exact revenge on a woman who would not give her any chestnuts. She threatens to torment the woman's husband. She knew where the husband was headed and what the name of his ship was, which again points to otherworldly knowledge, in addition to the power to change form.

A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap,
And munched, and munched, and munched. "Give me,"
     quoth I.
"Aroint thee, witch!” the rump-fed runnion cries.
Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o' th' Tiger;
But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
And...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 915 words.)

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