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Supernatural forces in Shakespeare's

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Introduction

In Shakespeare's "Macbeth" supernatural forces create a suspenseful atmosphere. The use of the supernatural in the witches, the visions, the ghost and the apparitions provides the backbone of the climax and "excuses" for Macbeth's change of character. Because conscience plays such a central role in Macbeth's tragic struggle, many critics use spiritual and supernatural theories to illuminate the drama's character development. The play opens with the use of the supernatural when three witches encounter Macbeth on his way home from a battle and proceed to predict his fate. This gives the audience a glimpse of the path the play will follow. The witches plan to meet again, "When the battles (battle is) lost and won..." (I. I. 1-4). This theme becomes recurring throughout the play. It can be noted that the witches meet after every battle is lost and won, and every battle, whether man against man, man against nature or man against himself it will always be lost by one side and won by another. ...read more.

Middle

The three sisters held the power of motivating Macbeth to kill Duncan by planting the idea in his head that he could be king. The "ghostly" dagger, which led Macbeth to Duncan's chamber, also represents the supernatural forces that cause the fall of Macbeth. "His benumbed isolation before, during and right after Duncan's murder is one of the most vivid memories, and we can see him in the same abstraction again among the mourners after Duncan is found." (Manyard 62) Macbeth's memories of the murder of King Duncan were too cloudy for him to remember because the disillusionment and distraction of the knife influenced him to go through with killing Duncan. Macbeth followed the bloody dagger to Duncan's room and even thought twice about murdering the king. Manyard also states "Shakespeare emphasizes the visibility of the dagger, partly, I suppose, because it is an instrument of powers that will repeatedly - with blood, daggers, ghosts, and every insidious form of apparition- work on Macbeth's sight and partly too because its appearance at ...read more.

Conclusion

L. F. Flathe quotes, "But we are constrained to ask, what devil gives the devil such power over this poor devil Macbeth that he is so immediately led astray, while we see, in the case of Banquo, that any man who chooses can easily withstand the devil?" (Flathe 200) Any given person's human nature tempts them to take an easier path if shown the way. Some people exhibit more hardworking and honest traits than others. Macbeth was deceitful and dishonest, therefore following the path of the devil. Macbeth suffered the consequences of his actions by death. Though Banquo also suffered consequences of honesty, his heirs benefited in the long run by inheriting the crown. Macbeth's decisions were influenced by supernatural encounters, causing him to tragically meet a doomed fate. These paranormal experiences and influences caused Macbeth to choose certain paths, only to lead him to self-destruction. Had the witches, ghosts, and visions not occurred throughout the play, what other courses would have been walked to lead him to his ill-fated destiny? Without the guidance of these forces, Macbeth's fate would have been altered and the plot would be non-existent. ...read more.

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