The Witches Spell

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I

By William Shakespeare

A dark cave.  In the middle, a caldron boiling.  Thunder.  Enter the three witches.

1 Witch:  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
2 Witch:  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
3 Witch:  Harpier cries:-‘tis time!  ‘Tis time!
1 Witch:  Round about the caldron go;
                In the poison’d entrails throw.-
                Toad, that under cold stone,
                Days and nights has thirty-one;
                Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
                Boil thou first I’ the charmed pot!
All:         Double, double toil and trouble;
                Fire burn and caldron bubble.
2 Witch:   Fillet of a fenny snake,
                In the caldron boil and bake;
                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,-
                For a charm of powerful trouble,
                Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
All:         Double, double toil and trouble;
                Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 Witch:   Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
                Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
                Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
                Root of hemlock digg’d I the dark;
                Liver of blaspheming Jew;
                Gall of goat, and slips of yew
                Silver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
                Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
                Finger of birth-strangled babe
                Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,-
                Make the gruel thick and slab:
                Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
                For the ingredients of our caldron.
All:         Double, double toil and trouble;
                Fire burn and caldron bubble.
2 Witch:   Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
                Then the charm is firm and good.


  1. I tried closing my eyes and saying it from memory. I didn't do very well. LOL I might need a re-read on this one!

  2. Les BotcharOctober 26, 2011

    definitely one of my favourite Shakespeare scenes! I saw this play a long time ago in Stratford. amazing talent we have here in Canada.

  3. "Double, double toil and trouble"...... my life's central theme....

  4. I don;t recall giving you permission to use my photo. My mind musta been distracted.

  5. This is my favorite, I love the witches. The pic is awesome!

  6. Bloody hell, that's all a bit cultured, chick! I saw that scene acted out in an outdoor performance in Ludlow Castle. But the acting was so hammy that I nearly pissed myself laughing and had to leave. Awww ... look at the memories you are surfacing ;-)

  7. The only part I can ever remember is the fire burn & caldron bubble line :)

  8. I actually live quite close to Stratford but I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't seen a play there since high school.

  9. lol! Mine sometimes feels like that too!

  10. Let me guess - you must be the one in the front with the sinfully seductive glint in her eye?

  11. I love that picture too - they seem to be really enjoying their wicked witchiness.

  12. There's not much in this world that's more pleasurable than peeing your pants laughing.

  13. I think I'm in love. Tell the hubs not to worry. It's totes platonic. Just nosing around here trying to get my last bit of Halloween cheer before i'm forced to move on to the American Thanksgiving.