• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

“Macbeth is essentially a study in the power of the supernatural.” Discuss

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Macbeth is essentially a study in the power of the supernatural." Discuss Macbeth was written in the early sixteen hundreds and this coincides with the reign of James the First of England. The play would therefore have been written with him in mind and considering James the first had a great interest in the supernatural which is demonstrated by the book he wrote on the subject called Demonology, this play would have been greatly enjoyed by him. There was witchcraft, apparitions and ghosts throughout the play. It wasn't just the King who believed in witchcraft at the time, almost everyone did. They believed that witches could curse their enemies, predict the future, bring on night in day, and cause fogs and tempests. One example in the book of this would be when they conjured up a spell to sink a ship upon which a certain captain was that they disliked. With this information in mind, Shakespeare could have written a perfect play to do with the supernatural, its power, and how it affects the king. Therefore, this play could have been written as a study into the supernatural. We must, however consider other themes in Macbeth to find out whether the supernatural is the strongest and most effective one or whether there are any other ones that affect the characters and the plot greatly. ...read more.

Middle

We now, therefore have another link with the supernatural and so we have Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the witches are now all associated with foul doings or the supernatural. The first scene in act two has a very small hint that the supernatural has taken over Macbeth's mind and is now helping him make every decision necessary. He imagines seeing a dagger before him which guides him to the murder of Duncan and Macbeth is already very dependent on the supernatural. He says 'Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, Or else worth all the rest.' Meaning he thinks his eyes are being deceived by seeing a dagger which does not exist, or they are providing him with more evidence to go and kill Duncan. He believes that it is leading him to go and kill Duncan and so that action is carried out After the murder of the king has taken place and his body discovered by Macduff, we have a scene with Ross and an Old man representing the people of Scotland whose memory goes back an extensive way. The two characters discuss the events of the night of the murder. In their conversation we learn that a deed as evil as this has never been committed as far as the Old Man can remember: 'But this sore night Hath trifled former knowings.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Banquo's comment accurately reflects the truth: 'The instruments of darkness tell us truths; Win us with honest trifles, to betray's In deepest consequence.' These words are prophetic but Macbeth, however, ignores them to his great cost. The supernatural is indeed present in much of the play and I believe it is the strongest theme in Macbeth because of all the evidence seen here. It is clear that it affects many of the characters from the witches to Lady Macbeth. All of Macbeth's actions are because of prophecies by the witches, visions and apparitions. The play shows you what the supernatural is capable of such as casting spells to overturn a boat that is far out at sea or just simply plant an idea in the mind of a worthy warrior. The play ends with a cliff-hanger or a flaw in the supernatural: the witches prophesied that Banquo's children would be rulers of Scotland but it is Malcolm that took the crown. Another flaw is that perhaps Macbeth would not have been king if the witches had not told him he would be. The witches, however, may just have acted as a catalyst so instead of Macbeth becoming king in five years, he becomes king in five months instead. Therefore this study into the supernatural could be showing how the supernatural is correct in many ways, but can always have the power to be wrong. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Latimir 10TB ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Macbeth essays

  1. By considering the soliloquies, analyse how Macbeth's character changes as the play progresses.

    Not only is this similar to metaphors found previously in 'Macbeth' but moreover it can be paroled with lines in another Shakespeare work - 'As you like it'. In that line life is described, by Macbeth, as a walking shadow this provokes the thought that life is out of place and as a walking shadow it is unexpected.

  2. What is the role of the witches in Macbeth?

    Macbeth is determined to do this after he has met the witches. This scene starts off in a cavern and the witches are brewing a potion in a boiling cauldron. Yet again the witches enter in thunder, which tells us, the audience that when thunder occurs the witches presence is inevitable.

  1. Macbeth - Act 4 Scene 1: Discuss the Dramatic Potential in this scene.

    He is scared that Banquo's children will reign forever. This can be seen as he quotes: 'What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?' Near to the end of the scene, Macbeth shows a change in character. He quotes: 'From this moment, The very firstlings of my hand.

  2. Macbeth was led down to an inescapable road of doom by an outside force, ...

    Lady Macbeth then helps Macbeth by inserting ill thoughts into his mind, and provided suggestions as to how to become King I think Shakespeare is giving his audience two decisions to make at this point. Firstly he wants people to feel a little sympathetic for her as they can see her slowly deteriorating in front of their eyes.

  1. With the use of textual illustration, describe Macbeth's varying characteristics; discuss the dramatic effect ...

    To use a 'clich�' phrase, Macbeth is 'misunderstood'. In the story, he is presented as somewhat of a 'bloodthirsty killer', but especially towards the end of the book, other sides of his personality reveal themselves, and he is shown as being something other than a murderer, perhaps even something that has enough dignity to resign itself to its fate, and to 'go out fighting'.

  2. Describe how the witches prophecies to Macbeth arefulfilled in the final Act of

    Even with the intervention of Banquo calming words, Macbeth can only think of the throne and seems infatuated with his newfound news. In Act 1, Scene 4, the King and his entourage are discussing the execution of Cawdor when Macbeth and company arrive.

  1. Shakespeare wrote many plays and Macbeth is one of his most compelling. When Shakespeare ...

    If they had good news to deliver then different weather conditions would apply, such as sunny and bright. The weather also brings darkness to the play. This is effective in making the audience feel uneasy about the current situation. The second witch says the next lines in the play they

  2. Analyse the rise and fall of Macbeth

    He knows what to do. The irony is that all the prophecies are double-edged and turn against him. It is his obsessive and literal belief in the prophecies that destroys him. The witches succeed in destroying every aspect of his humanity.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work