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«We Three»

The Mythology of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters

Laura Shamas

The Weird Sisters, from William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, are arguably the most famous trio of witches in English literature. Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters are a complex trinitarian mythological construction – a unique amalgamation of classical, folkloric, and socio-political elements. This book is an archetypal exploration of the Weird Sisters; by examining this feminine trio through the lens of mythology, new insights about their significance may be understood. The ramifications extend from classical comprehension to twenty-first century pop culture observations related to female trios.

«Laura Shamas’s study is especially valuable because she brings to the same conversation the scholars of Shakespeare and those interested in mythology. Her analysis of Hecate, the archetypal witch, and the resurgence of Hecate’s myth in relationship to the Weird Sisters is absolutely fascinating.» (Ginette Paris, Professor and Research Coordinator, Mythological Studies, Pacifica Graduate Institute)
«Laura Shamas has stirred the witches’ cauldron once again! The magic of the weird sisters comes to life wondrously in this most remarkable brew of history, folktale, mythology, psychology, contemporary cultural criticism, and the phenomenology of the meaning of ‘threeness.’ The reader will be spellbound by the prehistory and archetypal sources of Shakespeare’s famous witches. The drama of female three-somes is illuminating in the extreme!» (David L. Miller, Watson-Ledden Professor of Religion, Emeritus, Syracuse University)