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Show How Shakespeare Uses The Supernatural To Develop Macbeths Character

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Introduction

Show How Shakespeare Uses The Supernatural To Develop Macbeths Character - Essay. Shakespeare has written five tragedies, and Macbeth was his shortest. It was written between the years 1603-1606 during Elizabethan/Jacobean times which was when James I came to the throne. It was written and performed to James I as he was already James IV/V of Scotland and reputedly a descendant of Banquo; it is widely accepted that there is an element of truth in the story. At these times there was a strong belief in the supernatural and the fact that the devil was real and could come before anyone or send 'sub-devils' instead, in the case of Macbeth it was the witches. This belief and use of dark magic in the play helps to show us key aspects of Macbeth's development throughout the play. Before Macbeth even meets the witches in act 1 scene 3, we see how capable of evil they are, "Weary se'nnights nine times nine shall he dwindle, peak and pine." They sent a storm upon a man and his whole crew when they were at sea, just because his wife refused to share her chestnuts with one of the, the witches are capable of trickery and don't tell the whole truth. ...read more.

Middle

The good point that came from this was that he became Thane of Cawdor but the evil over powers him and he finds himself considering murdering Duncan for the first time, "Why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair." This new idea that is planted in Macbeth's head is not the witches doing this time, but the creation of his own self. He has not however had murderous thoughts towards Banquo yet, presuming that he is thinking the same and wants to share this gruesome experience, "Think upon what hath chanc'd, and at more time... let us speak our free hearts each to other." The famous dagger scene (act two scene one) reveals a lot about Macbeths character and also how much he has changed due to his supernatural experiences. Before Banquo departs from Macbeth he makes it clear that he remains unaffected by the prophecy even though he has had the same experience of the supernatural as Macbeth, yet he has still managed to resist evil; "But I still keep my boson franchised and allegiance clear." This suits Macbeth very well because he wanted to change the subject, "I think not of them," whilst in fact he is, and didn't want Banquo to have these thoughts on his mind while the murder is being committed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth realises he is talking and not acting - he doesn't want to talk himself out of the murder because he knows at heart that he has changed so much due to this wicked prophecy. But the dagger encourages him onwards, "Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives." He hears a bell as his last and final signal but it is like a death bell for Duncan and Macbeth doesn't care if Duncan goes to heaven or to hell, he just needs him out of the way, "The bell invites me... that summons thee to heaven or hell." In conclusion it could be said that Macbeth's character has developed and changed dramatically through the course of the play. The supernatural encounters that he experienced show us complex aspects of Macbeth's character and how he went from loyal and fond of King Duncan to murderous and a liar. Macbeth ended up dieing due to his arrogance and high ambitions and Shakespeare uses this theme to say that a small idea that gets planted into your mind can grow into something big and dangerous. Jenny Islam 10J ...read more.

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