The Witches' Prophecy
Act 1 Scene 3 Key Scene
In this scene, we meet Macbeth for the first time. The witches gather on the moor and cast a spell as Macbeth and Banquo arrive. The witches hail Macbeth first by his title Thane of Glamis, then as Thane of Cawdor and finally as king. They then prophesy that Banquos children will become kings. Macbeth demands to know more but the witches vanish. Ross and Angus arrive to tell Macbeth that he has been given the title Thane of Cawdor by Duncan.
You can take a look at the scene here. Using the following steps, remember to look at it line by line and if youre looking at the scene for the first time, dont worry if you dont understand everything at once.
How far ist called to Forres?
Forres is a place near to King Duncans camp.
The Weird Sisters, hand in hand,
What are these
Banquo is not sure whether the witches are human because of how they look. What do you imagine they look like?
Speak, if you can: what are you?
All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Glamis.
All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee Thane of Cawdor.
All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter.
Why do you think Macbeth doesnt respond immediately to the witches prophecies?
Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear
Why are you scared by words that promise an amazing future?
You have given my friend such great news about what his future holds that he is completely spellbound.
If you can foretell what will happen in the future and say what will happen and what won't.
Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
Not so happy, yet much happier.
Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:
Your children and descendants will be kings.
Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail.
The WITCHES turn to leave.
Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
The idea of being king is completely unbelievable.
How many questions do Macbeth and Banquo ask of the witches and why do you think the witches dont answer?
(Text edited for rehearsals by Polly Findlay and Zoe Svendsen)