• 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

    The Supernatural in "Macbeth"

    4 star(s)

    The false dagger was the catalyst to Macbeth drawing his own dagger, which was the exact same as the illusion. "As this which now I draw" was said by Macbeth to show us his real dagger. We were not surprised to realize that the dagger seemed to be communication to

  2. How Does Shakespeare Use the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    In this scene we see Lady Macbeth's hallucinations show as she desperately tries to rub what she sees as blood off her hands. "Here's the smell of blood still" it seems as if the line "A little water clears us of this deed."

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

    * She now says "what's done cannot be undone" compared to "what's done is done" strong minded opinion earlier in the story. * She apparently kills herself at the end as she can't cope with the guilt and her character has no further need as Macbeth can't face her as he sees what deeds they have done.

  2. How does Shakespeare Present the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    Having presented Banquo's descendants as kings, the Witches dance, then vanish, to Macbeth's anger."Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour, stand aye accursed in the calendar", this means, where are they? This evil, vile hour can curse them." Hearing of Macduff's flight, Macbeth resolves to kill every member of

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

    Although Macbeth has wondered what it would be like to be King, he didn't want anyone to know of his thoughts. When the witches say this Macbeth wonders if the witches have read his mind, and from then on we can see, from what they have told Macbeth, the power that the witches have over him.

  2. Macbeth (Analysis of The Banquet Scene)

    However, as the Ghost of Banquo is only a figment of Macbeth's imagination it may be more successful to not have an actor at all. The actor playing Macbeth may have to be very good at pretending that the Ghost is there when it really isn't, and if the actor

  1. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    Nevertheless he has used ideas of deception in such ways to deceive the audience and characters throughout. Macbeth is a very interesting character created by Shakespeare because he is very diverse throughout the play. In other words he was known as a very loyal and brave warrior at the beginning

  2. "'Macbeth' is a play about the conflict between good and evil." Discuss.

    Throughout the play Macbeth's constant emotion turmoil, due to his conscience, are evident. Once he receives the witches prediction, he immediately decides that for him to become King he would have to commit an atrocity "Whose horrid image...unfix my hair".

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