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Examine The Role Of Magic And The Supernatural in 'Macbeth'

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Examine The Role Of Magic And The Supernatural in 'Macbeth' In the play "Macbeth", there are many interesting sections that concentrate on the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. The use of the supernatural in the witches, Lady Macbeth, nature, the vision, the ghost and the apparitions are all key elements in making "Macbeth" as a tragedy play. With the sense of the supernatural and interference of the spirits, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led to dangerous tempting things. Macbeth's character becomes completely different from the brave soldier to the evil king and to his tragic death where he discovers humility again when it is too late. Lady Macbeth's character also changes from being a loving wife and masculine woman to madness woman. The use of supernatural also makes the play interesting to the audience. Examining certain scenes of the play, it is noticed that the supernatural is definitely a major factor on the play's style. The use of supernatural occurs at the beginning of the play, with three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. "When the battles lost and won", it says Macbeth's fate is that he will win the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of his soul. The prophecies that were revealed by the witches bring a broad temptation to Macbeth that had been in his secret all along for being a king, "My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical". This shows that Macbeth ambition is present before the prophecies. He would never have thought seriously about killing Duncan without the witches. His temptation makes him do whatever he can to gain power of the throne as prophesied by witches because he thinks the only way to gain the power of the throne is by killing Duncan, which is an easier plan and the ways he makes to the throne show evilness that gradually increase in his actions by murder Duncan, Banquo and Macduff's family. ...read more.


The darkness and the sound of the owl make the play becomes more real and interesting for the audience. As Macbeth awaits for the signal to make his way up to the stairs, he sees a floating dagger and said "Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going; and such an instrument I was to use. There's no such thing. It is the bloody business which informs". Here, Macbeth begins to question whether his mind playing tricks on him or if there is a presence of evil that put the dagger, covered with blood there. This shows that there is interference of supernatural that leads Macbeth towards Duncan's chamber to do the murder. The dagger symbolizes the point of no return for Macbeth. If he chooses the path in which the dagger leads, there will be no turning back. After Macbeth did the murder, he became king. Although he has already achieve his goal to be a king, he begins to be greedier to not let the Banquo's prophecy of being father of kings come true because he thinks he has put a great effort to reach the throne. Therefore, because of his fears due to Banquo's prophecy, Macbeth proceeds to plot the murder of his friend, which caused him to fall into a deeper hole. Once the murderer notified Macbeth that the deed was done, he observed Banquo's ghost in the place reserved for him. "What man dare, I dare. Approach thou like rugged Russian bear. Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves shall never tremble." Macbeth feels frightened at the sight of the bloody ghost haunting him and proclaims that he could take any wild animals, but not Banquo's ghost. This shows the interference of spirit in Macbeth's mind and this caused Macbeth to act in a wild manner, making people suspicious of his actions. The word "I will, to the weird sisters: more shall the speak, for now I am bent to know by the worst means the worst." ...read more.


The third apparition is a child crowned with a tree in his hand who tells Macbeth "Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him." It says that Macbeth will never be defeated until 'Great Birnam Wood' moves against the castle at Dunsinane. "That will never be, who can impress the forest. Sweet bodements, good!" It shows that Macbeth feels completely certain that no man can kill him and he will not be defeated until a forest uproots itself and moves. All of these apparitions show the interference of the spirit who tells Macbeth about his fortune. These apparitions are good news for Macbeth. The witches encouraged him to believe he is invulnerable and indestructible. He has found protection in the strength of spirit's words. Having possession of all the confidence in the world, he fears no one. The prophecies at the beginning of the play led him to his success, and those apparitions at the end just led to his tragic death. It is a tragic death because without knowing that Macbeth will become a king; he would still be a brave soldier, honest and humble man. From all above, the use of the supernatural and spirits provide suspenseful play in Macbeth. The first prophecies have led Macbeth to murder Duncan and Banquo in order to gain the power of the throne. Lady Macbeth also relied on supernatural by her soliloquy to change her into a creature without human compassion, which at the end shows that she might be possessed by spirits. The hallucination of the dagger also shows the interference of spirit that leads Macbeth's way to Duncan's chamber. After his encounter with the ghost of Banquo, Macbeth proceeds to visit the witches one last time to insure his security. After this last visit, Macbeth becomes over confident which cause his tragic death. Without the witches, Lady Macbeth, strange nature, vision of dagger, ghost, and the apparitions, the play "Macbeth" would have been a dull and tiresome play. Richard McKeown ...read more.

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