Foreshadowing in Macbeth

William Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" also utilizes many forms of foreshadowing to move the plot along. Shakespeare especially uses the characters of the witches and their prophecies to foreshadow events. Sometimes they are outright prophecies, but most times they are subtle. For example, the witches foretell the prophecy that "fair is foul and foul is fair". This foreshadows that something evil will take place. Another subtle example would be when the witches say that "Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him," meaning that the King will be harmed by the trees walking and coming to attack him. Macbeth takes this prophecy literally but it is reveal in the end that the marching army use branches of the Birman wood as a shield when they attack the King. Thus, the trees are walking. Finally, another example would be that during the murder of Duncan, Macbeth thinks he hears a voice. This foreshadows his paranoia throughout the rest of the play.

Foreshadowing in Major Literary Works