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

Discuss the presentation of the supernatural in 'Macbeth'. What part does it play in the drama?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Macbeth coursework essay Discuss the presentation of the supernatural in 'Macbeth'. What part does it play in the drama? 'Macbeth' is a play full of darkness and horror, to which the supernatural plays an important and necessary role. 'Macbeth' was written at the time that King James the first of Scotland was on the throne. Some people believe that the play was written for him, this is due to his extreme fascination with witchcraft. This is not the only thing that links King James to the play; he was also a real-life descendant of Banquo, Macbeth's best friend in the play. The people of England throughout King James' reign were Christian, both Catholic and Protestant. The Jacobeans believed in Heaven and Hell and lived in fear of eternal damnation, a severe consequence of witchcraft. Practising witchcraft was seen as being sinful and ungodly and not a positive and normal way of society. The Jacobean audience would have been somewhat intrigued and interested in a play with such characteristics like 'Macbeth'. They would have also been curious of Shakespeare's exploration of the supernatural, especially the aspect of Witchcraft. ...read more.

Middle

The Witches however are not the only example of the supernatural in Macbeth. Something which has a strong connection with the Witches is pathetic fallacy. A good example of this is in the opening scene. The stage directions read " Thunder and lightning. Enter three WITCHES." The thunder and lighting is physically threatening and appears to be extremely powerful, it's a very important aspect of the play. The witches are almost immediately associated to bad weather. Whenever they appear in the play the weather is negatively portrayed, and bad weather also occurs when unnatural things take place, for instance the night King Duncan was murdered. There is a strong relationship between Lady Macbeth and the supernatural, particularly the Witches and this can be seen in many different ways. This is made very clear in Act 1 Scene 5 when she says, "Come you spirits...make thick my blood." Lady Macbeth is inviting the evil spirits inside her, she wants to be rid of all human feelings of guilt and pity. This quote really proves this point " Make thick by blood, stop up th' access and passage to remorse". ...read more.

Conclusion

The darkness, hallucinations and the contributions from the Witches all manifest to form the plot of the play and create a hard-hitting and dramatic plot line. All the aspects of the supernatural in "Macbeth" are extremely controversial and play a very powerful role. The contributions from the witches and apparitions seem to be the main focus point throughout. In my opinion I think that all the aspects of the supernatural, the witches, prophecy, pathetic fallacy, apparitions, imagery and hallucinations really manifest and create a Scottish play full of darkness and horror. The role of the supernatural seems to be necessary and without it the play may not have such a severe impact on the audience. "Macbeth" is a play, which really appealed to the Jacobean audience and catered for their beliefs in witches and witchcraft. The Jacobean audience would have heard echoes of their Christian faith in the language and also through religious imagery. There are many modern day interpretations of Macbeth, all aimed at various groups of people. One thing that I am certain of is that the impact of the supernatural, especially the witches, is always dramatic and extreme. However, all productions of 'Macbeth' are unique, and various aspects of the play are portrayed differently. Hannah Parkinson 10A ...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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

The candidate responds well to the set question, the essay has a good introduction and a clear conclusion, although the last sentences of the conclusion which talk about different productions of ‘Macbeth’ doesn't seem to fit in with the rest ...

Read full review

Response to the question

The candidate responds well to the set question, the essay has a good introduction and a clear conclusion, although the last sentences of the conclusion which talk about different productions of ‘Macbeth’ doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the essay, I would either put this in the bulk of the essay or remove it as it doesn’t add anything.

Level of analysis

The candidate has clearly done independent research, as they mention how people at the time would be intrigued by the idea of witchcraft and how they would find the witches and the supernatural fascinating, this is good, exactly what I would expect of a high level GCSE candidate. The candidate has carefully selected suitable quotations and used them to back up their ideas and s/he shows a good level of analysis. S/he talk about the meaning behind the quotations and how they represent the characters thoughts and feeling rather then just retelling the story, which is excellent. Although linguistic techniques such as the use of similes and metaphors are not discussed, the candidate does mention the use of pathetic fallacy, which shows a higher level of analysis and understanding.

Quality of writing

The essay is well written and fluent. The candidate uses a good range of vocabulary throughout and generally spelling and the use of grammar is not an issue.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by PicturePerfect 14/02/2012

Read less
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. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the Role Played by the Witches in the Tragedy of Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    leads us to believe that he is trying to convince himself, not us. Macbeth hears his wife ring a bell and Macbeth's last words refer to superstition, "...Heaven, or to Hell." In Act 2, scene 2, the state of mind of both Macbeth and his Lady are completely different to their normal selves.

  2. Macbeth Summary - historical context and the main female roles.

    This scene shows her at her most venerable with "Out damned spot" as she reiterates the whole murder. She uses irony of "Will these hands never be clean" and hyperbole of "all the perfumes in Arabia couldn't sweeten this hand" which is a first for her logical mind.

  1. Macbeth (Analysis of The Banquet Scene)

    Macbeth appears to be very na�ve in the scene, which is why Lady Macbeth can manipulate him the way she does. When the ghost disappears for a little while and he starts to talk properly again. 'When now I think you can behold such sights, and keep the natural ruby of your cheeks.'

  2. How does Shakespeare Present the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    "Gentlemen, rise, his highness is not well." This means that Macbeth has reacted to the sight of the ghost whether he has company with him or not. Macbeth believes that one of the Lords know of the murder and have done this to tease him, this makes Macbeth shocked and afraid.

  1. 'What is the role of the supernatural in the play Macbeth?'

    power that we can see the witches have over Macbeth, and we can see how their power increases throughout the play. In the scene Act 1 Scene 3, the witches speak to Macbeth with their three hails, but only on the third hail; 'All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter,' does it trigger Macbeth.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Use the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    In the first scene the witches chant this and the first thing Macbeth says is "So foul an fair a day I have not seen."

  1. What role does the supernatural play in 'Macbeth'?

    By this stage in the play the audience already has a sense of apprehension about the witches, by Shakespeare's use of pathetic fallacy and the witches usage of couplets 'Fair is foul an foul is fair.' This means: good is bad and good is bad; they are violating the chain of being and God's natural order.

  2. Explore the way the theme of the supernatural is presented in Macbeth and The ...

    Does Macbeth need to act to make the prophecy come true or will it come true anyway? Even Macbeth wonders why he is believing in the witches: ?Why do I yield to that suggestion/ whose horrid image doth unfix my hair?.

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