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Runtime: 15 minutes
Wild and Weird - Three Witches - Netflix
The Three Witches or Weird Sisters or Wayward Sisters are characters in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth (c. 1603–1607). They hold a striking resemblance to the three “Fates” (in Greek mythology), and are, perhaps, intended as a twisted version of the white-robed incarnations of destiny. The witches eventually lead Macbeth to his demise. Their origin lies in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland and Ireland. Other possible sources, aside from Shakespeare's imagination itself, include British folklore, such contemporary treatises on witchcraft as King James VI of Scotland's Daemonologie, the Norns of Norse mythology, and ancient classical myths of the Fates: the Greek Moirai and the Roman Parcae. Productions of Macbeth began incorporating portions of Thomas Middleton's contemporaneous play, The Witch, circa 1618, two years after Shakespeare's death. Shakespeare's witches are prophets who hail Macbeth, the general, early in the play, and predict his ascent to kingship. Upon killing the king and gaining the throne of Scotland, Macbeth hears them ambiguously predict his eventual downfall. The witches, and their “filthy” trappings and supernatural activities, all set an ominous tone for the play. Artists in the eighteenth century (e.g., Henry Fuseli, William Rimmer) depicted the witches variously, as have many directors since. Some have exaggerated or sensationalised the hags, or have adapted them to different cultures, as in Orson Welles's rendition of the weird sisters as voodoo priestesses. Some film adaptations have cast the witches as such modern analogues as hippies on drugs, or goth schoolgirls. Their influence reaches the literary realm as well in such works as the Discworld and Harry Potter series.
Wild and Weird - In music - Netflix
At least fifteen operas have been based on Macbeth, but only one is regularly performed today. This is Macbeth, composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and premièred in Florence in 1847. In the opera, the Three Witches became a chorus of at least eighteen singers, divided into three groups. Each group enters separately at the start of the opera for the scene with Macbeth and Banquo; after the men's departure, they have a chorus of triumph which does not derive from Shakespeare. They reappear in Act 3, when they conjure up the three apparitions and the procession of kings. When Verdi revised the opera for performance in Paris in 1865, he added a ballet (rarely performed nowadays) to this scene. In it, Hecate, a non-dancing character, mimes instructions to the witches before a final dance and Macbeth's arrival. In Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas with libretto by Nahum Tate, the Sorceress addresses the two Enchantresses as “Wayward Sisters,” identifying the three of them with the fates, as well as with the malevolent witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Wild and Weird - References - Netflix