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Macbeth Glossary

I'll give thee a wind (1.3.13)

According to legends found in many countries, witches could cast a spell to control the winds.

The following is a paraphrase of the entire passage:

Shakespeare's Passage

Second Witch. I'll give thee a wind.
First Witch. Thou'rt kind.
Third Witch. And I another.
First Witch. I myself have all the other,
And the very ports they blow,
All the quarters that they know
I' the shipman's card.

Second Witch. I'll cast a spell to control the winds.
First Witch. You are kind.
Third Witch. I'll also cast a spell to control the winds.
First Witch. I myself have control of all the other winds,
and the very ports which they blow upon,
in all four directions
known to the compass.

Back to Macbeth (1.3)

How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2014. < >.


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Notes on Macbeth

"It is impossible to read "Macbeth" without noticing the prominence given to the belief that witches had the power of creating storms and other atmospheric disturbances, and that they delighted in so doing. The sisters elect to meet in thunder, lightning, or rain. To them "fair is foul, and foul is fair," as they "hover through the fog and filthy air." The whole of the earlier part of the third scene of the first act is one blast of tempest with its attendant devastation. They can loose and bind the winds, cause vessels to be tempest-tossed at sea, and mutilate wrecked bodies. They describe themselves as "posters of the sea and land;" the heath they meet upon is blasted; and they vanish "as breath into the wind." Thomas Alfred Spalding. Read on...


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