The belief in the power and existence of witches was extensively believed at the time of Shakespeare. This fact is demonstrated clearly by the European witch craze, at that time approximately nine million females were put to death as they were considered as witches. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero is a fascinating example of a high magician that has used dark magic. Propero has considered that there is no selling of the soul as well as no contact with evils or devil. Prospero has used his magic in order to accomplish his role as a master of his two servants named Caliban and Ariel, who have varying nature. Caliborn was stubborn, and Ariel was impulsive. Prospero has used the art of checking for motivating both servants, and with his magical abilities he has brought excellence of Ariel, as well as improved Caliban by regarding their God gifted natures, and considering the possibilities that they possess.
But, the scenario is quite opposite in the case of Macbeth’s use of witchcraft. Macbeth has subverted the order of the family, and sexes by making an attempt to have more power than those possessed by the head of family i.e., her husband. Lady Macbeth has challenged the manhood of her husband by taunting him and being aggressive. Lady Macbeth has called upon seemingly malevolent “spirits that tend on the mortal thoughts” in order to aid her plan for overcoming the reluctance of husband and forcing him to kill Duncan (Shakespeare, Greenblatt, and Gurr 815). With such types of act Macbeth has showed witch in the lady. Moreover, the practices of Macbeth i.e., Weird Sisters, and Sycorax are considered as a species of treason as they have invoked infernal spirit for reversing the natural order ((Shakespeare, Greenblatt, and Gurr 1577).
Sycorox was the mother of Caliban, she was a witch, who has used her powers in order to trap Ariel in the pine tree for about 12 years. She gave birth to Caliban, who possessed uncivil and devilish behavior. Prospero is a male, and a skilled white magician, who has released Ariel from the tree. He has treated her daughter with love and affection. Magic is threatening when wielded by women. This is due to the fact that women cannot control their emotions; they are the victims of their circumstantial deficiencies, so they can go to the extremes of magic that may take life of the person as described in the case of Macbeth, which is quite threatening.
Puck was a household sprite, and he used to play annoying and irritating tricks on individuals, and assisted them in their odd jobs. He loves practical jokes greater than anything else. An indication of this fact is that he has transformed bottom head into an ass, and then cheerfully declared that ‘My mistress with a monster is in love’. Because of his annoying nature of experimenting on others, he is viewed as mischievous. The Weird Sisters are seemed as conjuring up as constructing the bloody and evil captions for King Duncan. The weird sisters are usually considered as sinister because they are grotesque, and scary. They are considered as the instruments of darkness, which can be analyzed from their involvement in helping Macbeth in killing Duncan, and create sinister impressions. Their contradictory and dark natures, and filthy activities, and the misuse of power all are indication of the fact that they are sinister.
Shakespeare, William, Stephen Greenblatt, and Andrew Gurr.The Norton Shakespeare. New York: W.W. Norton Publishing, 2008. Print.