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William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 1606 It was a play written for King James the I of England who was also King James the II of Scotland Shakespeare took the story from a book called The History of Scotland by Raphael Holinshed but made many changes in the original story Banquo helped Macbeth to kill Duncan but Shakespeare did not wish to offend the King so in his play all the blame was placed on Macbeth Also Shakespeare knew that James was very interested in the supernatural and had written a book on demonology The play is also written as a moral lesson in Shakespeares time people believed in divine right that is that Kings were appointed by God so to murder a King was a terrible crime a crime against God himself So although by murdering the King Macbeth at first obtains the crown he is severely punished he loses his wife his friends his sanity and in the end his life In the first scene we encounter the witches at the end of one of their meetings In this scene we learn of their supernatural powers they can fly Hover through the fog and filthy air They can predict the future they arrange a meeting place and they know that Macbeth will be there There to meet with Macbeth they say We also find out that they have familiars Greymalkin a grey cat and Paddock which is a toad They have all the qualities of the stereotypical Witch that people had in their minds at the time The witches say Fair is foul and foul is fair which is nonsensical However it gives us a sense of the confusion the witches can cause and it gives us a greater impression of the witchs power they can completely change events perhaps even control time itself The witches speak in rhyme When shall we three meet againIn thunder lightning or in rain and
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