Which three apparitions do the Witches show Macbeth?
The first is an armed head, summoned to warn Macbeth that Macduff is coming back to Scotland to ruin him. The second apparition is a bloody child and it tells Macbeth that no man born of a woman can do him harm. This gives Macbeth great confidence: "Then live Macduff: what need I fear of thee?" (4.1.78-80). The third apparition is that of a child wearing a crown and holding a tree. It declares:
Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him (4.1.87-90).
Macbeth is sure that the third apparition's prophecy will never be, for 'who can impress the forest?' or 'bid the tree unfix his earth-bound roots?' (4.1.91-3).
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. The Three Apparitions in Macbeth. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/macbeth/macbethfaq/macbethapparitions.html >.