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In what ways does Shakespeare make use of the supernatural in Macbeth?

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In what ways does Shakespeare make use of the supernatural in Macbeth? When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in the early 1600s the King of England was James I. James was king of Scotland too. He ruled in Scotland before coming king in England in 1603 as well. James was supposed to have descended from the real Banquo. Some people often think that Shakespeare wanted to flatter James I by writing this play by showing James that he was nothing like Macbeth. In Shakespeare's play Macbeth it has been discovered that Shakespeare did not create he play from scratch. He used history books such as Chronicles of England and Scotland and Ireland. The people in Macbeth are based on real people but the way they are portrayed to act in Macbeth the play is very different to how they acted in real life. Shakespeare uses supernatural in Macbeth in many different ways. He uses the supernatural in the witches, Lady Macbeth, nature, the vision, the ghost and the apparitions-these are all key elements in this play. I think that the supernatural means that it does not belong to the natural world. As there was no scenery or lighting, the actors (as women were not allowed to enter or act in he theatres) ...read more.


Owls keep screeching and the abnormal behaviour of the horses where they eat each other, suggests an odd madness the night when Duncan is killed. Also an Owl kills a Falcon, which is also considered as unusual. This behaviour in nature shows the existence of supernatural and it creates a perfect scene for the killing of Duncan. As Macbeth waits for the signal to make his way up to the stairs, he sees a floating dagger. Here, Macbeth begins to question whether his mind is playing tricks on him. Is there really a dagger in front of him or is he just imagining it? "Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch thee: to have thee not, and yet I see thee still." (Act 2 Scene 1). This shows that there is intervention of supernatural spirits that lead Macbeth towards Duncan's room to do the murder. When Macbeth kills Duncan is it a spell or was just an idea that was put into his head and was then lead on by the witches? The audience could make up its own mind about this. Some members of the audience would think, is Macbeth going mad? ...read more.


From reading the points made above, Shakespeare uses the supernatural to create a suspense and intrigue to the play. He does this to keep the audience intrigued and interested. He also does this to get the audience involved with the play, so that certain parts within the play stand out more. I also feel that the supernatural helps the play to progress and keeps the audiences interest. The first prophecies led Macbeth to the throne. Lady Macbeth relied on supernatural in her soliloquy. The illusion of the dagger also shows the intervention spirits that leads Macbeth to Duncan's room. Therefore, the supernatural is used wisely in Macbeth. You can make the supernatural come alive and encourages the audience to feel the supernatural. Words and visual effects let people experience the supernatural on a deeper level of emotion. Evil deeds are always committed in the dark whereas good happens when it is light. Also the visual effects of the dagger, the apparitions and Banquo's ghost help people to understand what the character is feeling and why they are acting the way they are. Seeing the supernatural in a play shows how realistic it can be and also how powerful the supernatural really is. I think that without the clever use of the supernatural in Macbeth it would not be as fascinating and thought provoking as it is. ...read more.

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