Macbeth

Weird Sisters Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Three witches, whose prophecy helps push Macbeth's ambition over the edge, and convinces him to murder Duncan in order to become King. The witches' knowledge of future events clearly indicates that they have supernatural powers, and they also clearly enjoy using those powers to cause havoc and mayhem among mankind. But it is important to realize that the witches never compel anyone to do anything. Instead, they tell half-truths to lure men into giving into their own dark desires. It's left vague in Macbeth whether Macbeth would have become King of Scotland if he just sat back and did nothing. This vagueness seems to suggest that while the broad outlines of a person's fate might be predetermined, how the fate plays out is up to him.

Weird Sisters Quotes in Macbeth

The Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Weird Sisters or refer to Weird Sisters. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ambition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Macbeth published in 2003.
Act 1, scene 1 Quotes
Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
Related Characters: Weird Sisters (speaker)
Related Symbols: Visions and Hallucinations
Page Number: 1.1.12-13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 1, scene 3 Quotes
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
In deepest consequence.
Related Characters: Banquo (speaker), Macbeth, Weird Sisters
Page Number: 1.3.135-138
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, scene 1 Quotes
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Related Characters: Weird Sisters (speaker), Macbeth
Page Number: 4.1.44-45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Weird Sisters Character Timeline in Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the character Weird Sisters appears in Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
Fate Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
As a storm rages, three witches appear, speaking in rhyming, paradoxical couplets: "when the battle's lost and won" (1.1.4); "fair is... (full context)
Act 1, scene 3
Fate Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
On the heath the witches appear. They call themselves the "weird sisters" (1.3.30) and brag of their dread and magical... (full context)
Fate Theme Icon
Macbeth and Banquo enter. The witches hail Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and "king hereafter" (1.3.47). Banquo asks... (full context)
Fate Theme Icon
Macbeth asks how the witches know this information. But the witches vanish, making the two men wonder if they could... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
...sisters. Macbeth claims never to think about them. But he suggests they talk about the witches soon, and adds that if Banquo supports him when the time comes he'll reward and... (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
In the royal palace of Forres, Banquo states his suspicion that Macbeth fulfilled the witches' prophecy by foul play. But he notes that since the prophecy came true for Macbeth,... (full context)
Act 3, scene 4
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...fact that Macduff does not appear at the royal court. He decides to visit the weird sisters to find out more about his fate. (full context)
Act 3, scene 5
Fate Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
The weird sisters meet with Hecate, the goddess of witches. She rebukes the sisters for meddling with Macbeth without first consulting her. But she says... (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
Ambition Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
...One witch cries out "Something wicked this way comes" (4.1.62): Macbeth enters. He commands the witches to answer his questions. (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
The witches conjure up three apparitions. First, a floating head appears and tells Macbeth to beware Macduff. (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Macbeth wants to know one more thing: will Banquo's heirs have the throne? The witches perform a final conjuring. Eight kings appear walking in a line, the eighth holding a... (full context)