[This is an annotated list of all appearances and all mentions of Hecate.]

Source: Greek Mythology / Other Gods / Hecate

After he has arranged for the murder of Banquo, Macbeth boasts to his wife that a terrible deed will be done before nightfall, or -- in Shakespeare's words -- before "to black Hecate's summons / The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums / Hath rung night's yawning peal" (3.2.41-43). The beetle is "shard-borne" because it flies on scaly wings, and the hum of its flight is "night's yawning peal," the sound of night that tells us that it's time to sleep. But in Macbeth's mind it's also a time for death and black magic, because the beetle is answering the call of Hecate, who dwells in the underworld and is the protectress of witches.      [Detailed Scene Summary]

After the Ghost of Banquo appears at Macbeth's banquet, Macbeth tells his wife that he will visit the witches again, to learn the worst that can happen. In the next scene Hecate enters to the crackle of "Thunder" (3.5.1, s.d.). She lets the three witches know that she is angry with them because they haven't let her take the lead in their dealings with Macbeth. She then tells them that they will mislead Macbeth to his destruction.      [Detailed Scene Summary]

After the witches get their pot of trouble brewing, Hecate congratulates and thanks them, saying, "O well done! I commend your pains" (4.1.39). Then she leads them in a song and dance. However, all editors of Shakespeare agree that everything from Hecate's entrance to her exit is spurious.      [Detailed Scene Summary]