The Witches of Macbeth

The famous scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth where the witches stir up a potion (Act 4, Scene 1): ‘Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble’. My version is not the original text of Shakespeare’s play; it is a slight adaptation of Roman Polanski’s film version (1971).

The witches of Macbeth are supposed to evoke a strong sense of disgust in us. Since the witches are ‘low characters’ in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, I have chosen not to speak in clear ‘Shakespearean English’ to deliver these lines.

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Macbeth / Roman Polanski Witches Script:

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes

Hahahaha!

[how now you secret, black and midnight hags – what is to do!]

A deed without a name

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights had thirty-one

Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charm’ed pot.

Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,

Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Severed in the moon’s eclipse

Fillet of a fenny snake,
Into the cauldron boil and bake;

Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

About Jade Joddle Jade Joddle is a speech and voice teacher who gives her non-native speaker clients back the confidence they had in their native language. She teaches high-level professionals to Speak Well in English so that they thrive and succeed.