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"Explore the significance of the witches and the supernatural in the play Macbeth"

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Introduction

"Explore the significance of the witches and the supernatural in the play Macbeth" King James I strongly believed in witchcraft, and Shakespeare used this idea to appeal to him. Shakespeare used the ideas of witchcraft, kingship, and the moral order to develop the play, as these themes were greatly admired in the Jacobean ere. The opening of the play contains many subtle links to the supernatural. The three witches open the scene in an open place with thunder and lightning, which was believed in superstitious times that fierce storms released forces of evil, and were omens of unrest in individual people and whole countries. I will be investigating the significance of the witches and I will be looking at the supernatural effects they have on the play 'Macbeth'. ...read more.

Middle

The witches themselves are a major part of supernatural, and the play, as they can be seen as starting it all off. In the first scene, we see them establishing a link with the supernatural. Their words also link them to Macbeth, and show that right from the start, he has an influence from them. 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair...' The witches say this in a chant like way, and you can tell it is a mischievous way of saying it. It shows things will be confused, and moral order will be changed. It also shows that the witches believe that evil is good, and good they find repulsive. This shows their attitude to life, but it could also be a warning to the audience that things to follow are not what they may have seemed, and will be confused. ...read more.

Conclusion

Banquo in the play refers to the witches as withered, wild and attire; I think this is because in the Jacobean times people who were ugly or didn't have a husband were labelled as witches. People feared witches in those times possibly because mixing with these witches could have possibly resulted in your death. As many witches in those days were either beheaded or thrown from cliffs to see they could fly. "Are ye fantastical, or that indeed" (Act 1 Scene 3) This is referring to the supernatural element of the witches in the play, which is again said by Banquo. The main word in the quote that is referring to the supernatural element of the witches is "fantastical". In those fantastical didn't mean fantastic as it does today, but instead it meant ludicrously odd and lots of imaginary around them. Their Predictions tempt Macbeth to evil ?? ?? ?? ?? Steve Underwood Macbeth essay ...read more.

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