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Explore Shakespeare's Dramatic Use of The Supernatural.

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Introduction

Explore Shakespeare's Dramatic Use of The Supernatural There are several scenes where supernatural incidents or people turn up in Macbeth. These scenes are spread over the play, with almost one in each act, apart from Act 5. They affect Macbeth and other characters in different ways, some scare them and others may bring good news. There are four scenes which include the mention of supernatural objects or people. These supernatural objects and people are added to the play for excitement and they also have a meaning and are not just a twist in the storyline. They often turn up because they have an important meaning, but sometimes they just need to be present and not talk to make an impression on the characters. They usually play an important role in the Act or the whole story, even if they do not say anything. The four main mentions of the supernatural are The Witches - Act 1 scene 3, The Dagger - Act 2 scene 1, Banquo's Ghost - Act 3 scene 4, and The Apparitions - Act 4 scene 1. However, the witches appear on several occasions where as the others are only mentioned once. When Shakespeare is describing the supernatural he concentrates on how abnormal it is and the reactions of the characters, and uses descriptive language to describe both these things. ...read more.

Middle

The part of the scene that make the witches seem most supernatural, is when moments after the witches have been predicting that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, a messenger arrives to tell him that he will become Thane, as soon as the present Thane of Cawdor is executed for treason. Macbeth is alone in his room when the dagger appears and it is nighttime, which creates a more frightening atmosphere. When he first sees the dagger he is startled and anxious. It is a hallucination due to the turmoil he has been going through. Just before he sees the dagger he has just agreed with his wife, Lady Macbeth that he will murder Duncan, so he can become thinks that the dagger is inviting him to kill Duncan, because the handle is pointing king. Macbeth towards him, and that it is a sign of evil. He thinks it is not real "A dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain." Macbeth knows that the dagger is linked to the fact that he is about to murder Duncan "It is the bloody business which informs thus to my eyes." Shakespeare writes this scene with Macbeth constantly giving reasons for why the dagger has appeared; this is good, descriptive use of language because it shows that Macbeth is nervous and explains his emotions well. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dismiss me. Enough." This reminds you of when the witches were predicting Macbeth's future, and foresore it correctly. This seems supernatural, as it is impossible to see the future. Macbeth seems nervous about what the Apparitions said, "Thou hast harped my fear aright." The thunder that occurs before the Apparitions appear is eerie and mysterious. The second apparition is a bloody child; this is perhaps symbolising Macduff's son's murder, which takes place later in the play. It tells him that no one can harm him, "for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" The third apparition tells Macbeth to be brave, and not to worry, but that he will be faced with opposition, and that Birnam Wood will appear to be moving towards him, which is why the third apparition is shown holding a branch of leaves. Macbeth is not very pleased with what the witches have to say. At the end of the scene the witches again disappear without a trace. Shakespeare explores and utilises the supernatural a great deal in Macbeth, this makes the play much more interesting and mysterious. It develops into even more of a fiction than it already is and means you can learn more about the characters because you see a wider variety of reactions than if there was no mention of the supernatural. Phil Nutting T10 ...read more.

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