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Is the supernatural to blame for the tragic events of the play? James the 1 strongly believed in witchcraft, and Shakespeare used this idea to appeal to him

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Is the supernatural to blame for the tragic events of the play? James the 1 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. 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 shows that right from the start, he has an influence from them. Their words, 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair...' is said 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. ...read more.


The witches do cast spells, such as the apparitions, which make Macbeth confident and also strengthens Macbeth's belief in the witches, and could be guilty of such acts like Macbeth's hallucinations. This shows that they had some control over Macbeth, and also some influence, proof can be Macbeth's words, 'So fail and foul a day I have not seen' which directly links him to them from the first scene. The witches 'control' or 'suggestion' over Mabeth looses its grip, and we can see this as Hecate gets angry at the witches, 'Loves for his own ends, not for you'. Which shows that Macbeth's ambitions and own power help him control himself and that the witches don't have much influence over him, just suggestion. The witches could be seen as effecting the appearance and reality of the country, as they influence Macbeth who kills Duncan. When Duncan is dead, and Macbeth is crowned, many things are affected. Nature and moral order turn bad, people are killed, and the appearance that traitors are loyal and 'foul is fair' appears. The roles are reversed and Macbeth turns more evil, and the witches do not have much to do with it anymore. Macbeth used to be a loyal respected hero, 'Nobel Macbeth' with only a simple and harmless relationship with the witches and the supernatural, but after he gained power and grabbed at his ambition, he started to corrupt. ...read more.


The witches may have controlled Macbeth to kill Duncan, and the hallucinations may have pushed him, but when Macbeth murdered Banquo, and Macduff's family, they were his own actions. He decided to do it, without guidance, or help, and so makes him guilty. It could be seen that the tragedy of Macbeth is caused by the supernatural power, as the witches are directly linked to Macbeth, and his murder of Duncan is guided by witchcraft. Macbeth was tempted, guided, pressured, tricked, and controlled by evil supernatural forces, and his actions were of his own, but were not his fault. On the other hand, it could be seen differently, it could be the weird sisters giving a simple suggestion, and Macbeth's own ambition and Lady Macbeth's pressure that drive him to Murder. These different points of view effect who is guilty, and perhaps reflect on the society at the time. I see Shakespeare suggesting that perhaps there could be 'Witches with spells!' or 'weird outcasts with suggestion', but it all boils down to the fact that the witches reflect evil, and how they corrupt a good soul, and lead it to damaging the natural order and then leading it to its death. I think that the witches use the supernatural powers, or not, in the play to show a battle of good Vs evil, where evil triumphs. ...read more.

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