Feminist readings often focus on the negative portrayal and misrepresentation of women. When this reading practice is applied to a section of act one scene three in Shakespeare's Macbeth it is easy to see that the women are given much more inferior roles and are depicted in ways that represent negative attitudes. The only women in the scene are witches, who are presented as evil and ugly. The males in the scene are given the characters of brave and dignified men returning from a victorious battle. This implies that women are physically weaker than men and therefore men are far superior. Upon seeing the witches Banquo states, " What are these, so withered and wild in their attire?" He fails to address them as human beings and instead regards them as objects. He assumes that his status as a man automatically gives him the right to insult any women he pleases. Macbeth does no better in addressing them as humans when he asks, "what are you?" Though this statement is very demeaning to the witches, Macbeth does not in any way question it's appropriateness, nor is he vaguely aware of the negative feelings the witches may have experienced as a result. .
Traditional readings often concentrate on the expected beliefs and values held by the majority of people. This reading practice, when applied to a piece of act one scene three in Shakespeare's Macbeth gives the reader an automatic understanding that Macbeth is being tempted by evil, which is represented through the witches. The witches are ugly and wild as Banquo describes them and things such as that in appearance are obviously scheming doers of evil. The fact that Macbeth is the first person in the story they converse with, other than themselves, implies that things are probably going to go badly for him. This scene is the one in which they first prophesise that Macbeth will one day be Thane of Cawdor and eventually king. The deviousness that is associated with the witches" gives the impression that they aren't being as straightforward as Macbeth assumes they are.