William Shakespeare's Recipe for Witches Brew

Posted April 05, 2012 by Robb Zerr
William Shakespeare "Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire, burn, and cauldron bubble." When we think of witches, we inevitably think of this line. While one would think it came from one of Disney's cartoons or feature films, it was actually the work of William Shakespeare.

You will find this quote, "Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire, burn, and cauldron bubble," in the fourth act of Macbeth. Three witches open the scene, creating a diabolical brew in their cauldron, and then casting a spell. As each witch adds an ingredient, she calls it out in one of the lines that precede and follow this famous line.

If you're looking to whip up your own spell, here's some of the recipe: Round about the cauldron go; In the poisoned entrails throw. Toad, that under cold stone, Days and nights has thirty-one, Sweltered venom sleeping got, Boil thou first I'th' charmed pot.

If you don't have a charmed pot, you may be out of luck. Williams and Sonoma doesn't carry them. It's also tough to find fenny snake, wool of bat and blind-worm's sting, though eye of newt and toe of frog can probably be ordered off Amazon.

So, what does this recipe whip up? According to Shakespeare's play, Macbeth needs to see into the future and this little witch's brew brings forth a series of apparitions that give him the answers he seeks. And no, we're not going to tell you the answers. You'll have to read Macbeth.

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Authors Mentioned: William Shakespeare

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