Eye of newt, and toe of frog
"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."
This line, uttered by the three ugly witches in Macbeth as they
stir their boiling cauldron, is one of the most familiar phrases
associated with traditional witchcraft. It is the infamous recipe
for spell-casting, curse-inducing witchery. People believed in
witches in Shakespeare's time, and thought of them as powerful
practitioners of evil. Yet while these witches in Macbeth did
possess the ability to conjure up spirits, they did not really
control Macbeth but rather tricked him into acting in certain ways.
Having correctly predicted he would be king, they now produce
ghosts who allow him to conclude that he will not be killed by
anyone. These ghosts have been called into our world by the use of
the infamous recipe given above, which continues with "adder's fork
and blind-worm's sting, lizard's leg and owlet's wing," and an
assortment of other colorful ingredients.