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Assessing the contribution of the supernatural in

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Introduction

Assessing the contribution of the supernatural in "Macbeth" Macbeth is a play in which moral themes are divided into good and evil. The narrative of the play is simple.There is clearly distinction the images of good and bad. 'Fair is Foul' is both a statement about the weird sisters' moral preferences. Brooding evil is a the major theme in Macbeth and is present throughout the play in both the characters and the events as they present different types of morality. The play maps Macbeth's loss of confidence in the faith in humans as he becomes tempted by the witches evil and he turns towards the supernatural. The play focuses on Macbeth, a tragic hero of noble descent whose gradual descent and downfall is the result of the supernatural. I shall assess this later in the play. In Act One Scene One, the "three wierd sisters" are planning to meet Macbeth. By beginning the play with this scene Shakespeare indicates the importance of the witches in the play and of the supernatural evil that they represent. Generally speaking most plays introduce the main characters first, to set the stage.However in this case the hero Macbeth would normally be introduced but it is the three weird sisters, thereby assigning more importance to them, as is obvious in the play. The reccuring chant "fair is foul, and foul is fair" is used to show us that the three witches can conjure up spells and magical potions, which later climax in the decline of Macbeth. ...read more.

Middle

The witch claims that "in a sieve I'll thither sail, and like a rat without a tail, I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do".' This is a lengthy decription of all of the things this witch is going to do to this sailor, whose wife was liable for his ill health and terrible times out at sea. They tell us that the ship shall be "tempest-tossed" which means they will create great storms, "sleep shall neither night nor day" and "I'll drain him dry as hay", by these two figures of speech , they mean they will not allow him to sleep and they will drain him of all the energy that was present in his vulnerbale human body consequently making him infertile. Half way through this scene "Macbeth doth come", before his appearance the three witches link hand and begin making a spell. Macbeth enters a says "so foul and fair a day I have not seen" by this he means he has never seen a day so good yet with the weather is awful. The witches are a physical embodiments of Macbeth's 'vaulting ambition' and his desire for power. They represent the unnatural damage done to nature and the order of society and religion when the king and God are overthrown. The witches are perhaps that seed of temptation within every human being which is what makes Macbeth's fate a tragedy: he is representative of all humankind. ...read more.

Conclusion

Banquo suspects that Macbeth's ambition wil drive him to do evil and it becomes apart to Banquo that he may be planning an evil deed. Ironically however, although Macbeth may be king his 'barren septre' means that he has no heir. Perhaps his evil means that he is no longer fertile and therefore cannot perform his natural duty. But he fears that Banquo's sons will be heirs as the witches fortell and so the murder of the king becomes the beginning, in a chain of murders to attempt to secure his absolute position and future. Macbeth is a short and powerful play, presenting a great nature corrupted by ambition and an unscruptulous wife. As Macbeth becomes more involved with the supernatural his state of mind changes. His previous values and morals disintergrate as the supernatural takes control of him. Macbeth descends into a world filled of greed which forces him into commiting far greater murderous actions which are solely down to his greed. The image of sleep, and being denied sleep, links both the character in their story and Macbeth. If sleep is the most natural and innocent act then when Macbeth murders the king he becomes evil and unnatural because he has 'murder sleep'. He can no longer tell the difference between his waking or sleeping nightmare: he is in a living hell. This hugely brings us to favouring this as a big part in Macbeths downfall. ...read more.

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