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

There Are Many Supernatural Elements In "Macbeth". What Effect Do They Have On The Thoughts And Actions Of Macbeth Himself?

Extracts from this document...


There Are Many Supernatural Elements In "Macbeth". What Effect Do They Have On The Thoughts And Actions Of Macbeth Himself? Introduction William Shakespeare Between 1603 and 1606 in Elizabethan times wrote Macbeth. At the time King James I was on the throne he was king England during this era, and was deeply interested in witchcraft he also wrote a book called Demonologie (1597), which became almost a "bible" for all witch-hunters. In Elizabethan times witches and witchcraft was a big issue. Prosecution at the time reached dreadful extents. Between 1506 and 1603 hundreds of people (nearly all women) were convicted as witches and as a result were executed. Modern audiences, watching a production of Macbeth, are often puzzled by the supernatural elements. In Shakespeare's time, the audience knew distinctively what to make of them; they were witches, ghosts, and spirits exactly what they appeared to be, these were all important supernatural elements in the play because they reflected many religious and cultural beliefs of Shakespeare's society at the time. Throughout the play many supernatural elements appear, for example the opening scene with the three witches who appear in thunder and lightening, predicted encounters that Macbeth interacts with. ...read more.


They also prepare for their meeting with Macbeth: "Thrice to thine, and Thrice to mine and thrice again to make up nine." They use their powers and prophesy to predict the future. Banquo describes the witches to be; "So withered and so wild in their attrire. That look not like th'inhabitants o'th'earth Upon her skinny lips; you should be women and yet your beards Forbid me to interpret" Banquo describes the witches as different and wild and do not look like creatures from earth. They have pointy fingers a skinny lips and say they are women but look like men. The language used by the witches contributes to the supernatural atmosphere. They use rhyming verses, alliteration and rhyming couplets. "The weird sisters hand in hand Posters of the sea and land." Shakespeare uses these techniques to remind the style of speaking the have and to gain the real feel of their language. They add rhythm as they speak which confuses Macbeth and Banquo, which also influences the audience to believe the same, and their reaction to be puzzles as well. When Macbeth meets the witches he echoes the same words as them "so foul and fair a day I have not seen," this introduces the idea of prophesy. ...read more.


Macbeth's reaction to he ghost shows that he is terrified because he cannot understand the reappearance of the dead: '...the time has been that when the brains were out, the man would Die and there an end. But now they rise again.' When the ghost appears for the second time, Macbeth confronts the ghost and challenges him to be anything else but Banquo. He tells his feelings of terror and guilt and the ghost seems to disappear. I think that the ghost is a part of the supernatural elements in the play. Shakespeare created the ghost as an illusion he wanted the audience to believe that Macbeth saw the ghost of Banquo and to emphasise his state of mind and how becoming involved in evil deeds can lead one to lose self control, because by being haunted by the dead would be a living hell. Conclusion The supernatural elements occur four times during the play. The most affective is the witches as they represent Macbeth's evil ambitions and unleash Macbeth's evil aspiration. All the supernatural elements, which have occurred, have changed the character from being a loyal soldier to a murderous king. I think Macbeth is lead astray by these evil forces, which made him do what he did. Uday Chana ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Villain or victim? Is Macbeth a victim of external circumstances or a man solely ...

    4 star(s)

    His dependence of the witches also shows that he alone cannot make decisions, he relies on the witches guidance, as maybe without their direction he would not have committed such acts. After Banquo's death, as he turns to them, he shows signs of desperation.

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

    The thought of losing his throne frightens him. Macbeth feels that he must do something to keep his title as king. By the end of the scene, it can be seen that he resorts to violence again. He shows another glimpse of ruthlessness. This is shown through a death-threat that is made to Macduff and his family.

  1. The Dramatic Impact of The Witches in Macbeth

    thought was an effective addition to the play as it displayed them to be so powerful they undermine the very monarchy. When the witches agree to show Macbeth they give him the potion they had already prepared as if they want to show him, they show him in a series of apparitions.

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

    is now showing courage and bravery and also showing signs of desperation. Then all the witches reply together "a deed without a name". This shows that this deed is extremely evil and its name is beyond evil. Macbeth shows his ignorance by asking the witches about the future and what prospects hold for him.

  1. Through this essay I am hoping that I will be able to comment upon ...

    * Make people fall ill by using spells and potions, as well as causing droughts amongst other things to make peoples food supply grow stale and decrease making people suffer from hunger and a lot of the time die from the hunger that they were feeling.

  2. Discuss the role of witches in Act 1 of

    They also don't tolerate any disobedience or rejection of orders by them to other people. In this play the witches have caused great pain to a woman and her husband. A sailor's wife had chestnuts on her knee, she consumed them without hesitation, and then a witch demanded some.

  1. Macbeth - Do the witches heighten the dramatic impact of the play?

    "there to meet Macbeth" this heightens the dramatic impact of the play because it shows the watching audience that the witches are going to influence a lot of thing in this play and it also shows that the watching audience will see the witches again in the play.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's Dramatic Use of The Supernatural.

    Macbeth is much more interested than Banquo, perhaps because what they are saying is good news for him if their predictions are correct. The witches say that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and then will become king - "All hail Macbeth...Thane of Cawdor, All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter."

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