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

Assessing the contribution of the supernatural in

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. What contribution do the Witches make to the play Macbeth?

    The Witches then tell Banquo that he will be `lesser than Macbeth, and greater' and be `not so happy, yet much happier'. The Witches language appears confusing, and incomplete and Macbeth describes them as `imperfect speakers' but fails to realise their deliberate perplexing words will allow the Witches to establish themselves in his very own weak soul.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    As the dagger appears Macbeth turns from a self-doubting man with a strong moral code into the murder that takes Duncan�s life. These glimpses into the future open a few questions. Firstly what are the witches intentions and secondly would this have happened if not for their intervention.

  1. Shakespeare's use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

    The 'seeds of time' were involved with the growth of spirit and matter, which was from tiny seeds planted in the ground by God. Evil spirits were thought to have the power to predict and foretell how these would develop.

  2. 'Discuss the view that the witches are solely responsible for Macbeth's descent into evil'.

    At first the two friends do not know what the 'creatures' are and when Macbeth questions them they say: All hail Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail to Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail to Macbeth!

  1. How would an audience in the time if Shakespeare reacts to the role of ...

    A messenger informs Lady Macbeth of the king's immanent arrival and she is then very excited and sees this as a perfect opportunity to get Macbeth on the throne. She then speaks a horrid and for the audience a shocking prayer to evil spirits.

  2. Discuss the Role of the Witches and Other Supernatural Elements

    Banquo isn't thrown by the witches' predictions. Banquo also believes that the whole thing is insane and that they had been drugged to believe, "Or have we eaten on the insane roots" Banquo believes that evil wants trust, so evil can deceive. He thinks that the witches want trust so they can betray trust in important matters to get somebody in trouble.

  1. Discuss the importance of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's

    Macbeth is terrified with this and in shock drops his cup, which causes a stir in the room. Shakespeare makes frequent references to blood and gore throughout Act 3, scene 4, and creates symbolic imagery in relation to the supernatural- "With twenty mortal murders on their crowns."

  2. Shakespeare and Witchcraft.

    And you all know, security Is mortals' chiefest enemy." (Act 3 Scene 5, lines 27-33) The witches prepare to meet Macbeth. They chant as they circle the cauldron throwing in horrible ingredients to make a sickening brew. As the witches concoct this gruesome spell they concentrate on adding objects which have links with the super natural.

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