When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? (ACT I, Scene I)

double double toil and trouble, Fair is foul and foul is fair, I dare do all that may become a man

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The Macbeth quote “When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?” are the famous lines uttered by the three witches “weird sisters” in a rhyming style. The three witches in  Macbeth plays an important role by controlling the mind of the lead character of the play, Macbeth. They are described as someone with female features yet having the beard and wearing rugged attire. They are full of nuisances with supernatural powers at their disposal. Shakespeare uses this supernatural element in the play in order to play with the mind of Macbeth, who possess a weak character and has no control over his action and ambition.

FIRST WITCH
When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
SECOND WITCH
When the hurly-burly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
THIRD WITCH
That will be ere the set of sun.

The three witches plan their next meeting, whether they should meet in thunder, lightning or in rain. Thunder, lighting and rain symbolise terror and darkness and it has been the basis setting in the entire play. Another witch reply that they will meet when the chaos and confusion of the war are over and the result of the war is declared. The third witch adds to the conversation that it will happen by the evening.

The witches with their supernatural abilities have an idea of war result, which is evident by the words of third witches who knows the time when the war is over “That will be ere the set of sun“. Their main plan is to meet Macbeth after he returns from the battlefield and play with his weak character by making prophecies, which would infect his brain with ambition. We would later see in the play, how Macbeth falls prey to these wicked witches.

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