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The Role of the Supernatural in Macbeth

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Introduction

The Role of the Supernatural in Macbeth During Shakespeare's time many people were superstitious and believed in witches, ghosts and other supernatural beings because they could not explain a lot of things that went on around them. This is greatly reflected in Shakespeare's play "Macbeth". By the late 1550's, Shakespeare had established himself as a playwright. Shakespeare and six others called themselves the "Kings Men" they called themselves this with the permission of King James 1. The supernatural plays a very big part throughout the play. This can be first seen at the very beginning in Act one Scene one with the three weird sisters meeting on the heath. In the back round there is thunder and lightning. This symbolises that bad things that are to come. This is also where one of the most important lines in the play is said "When the hurlyburlys done. When the battles lost and won" This says that every battle is lost by one side and won by the other. All winners may be victorious on the battlefield, but not off of it. This is the first observation made by the witches. ...read more.

Middle

This is shown particularly well by the sisters and the prediction that they make. The sisters not only add to the supernatural, they also act as narrators and give the audience insight in to what will happen in the future of the play. There are many scenes throughout the play, which have a good effect in the supernatural aspect. The image of the bloody knife before Macbeth echoes the murder of King Duncan that immediately follows. Throughout the play blood is a recurring image "Is this a dagger which I see before me the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee" These visions seem to greatly trouble Macbeth. It is as though if he is to follow the dagger. There will be no turning back from the crime that he is about to commit, to complete his main ambition in life. Lady Macbeth frets in her sleep about not being able to wash the blood off of her hands because she feels so guilty about the murder. Once the murder has been committed, Banquo has suspicions about Macbeth killing King Duncan in order to obtain the throne. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sisters predict many things, which come true. However, Macbeth often misinterprets their prophecies and this is put. Dramatic irony is used often during the play. An example of dramatic irony is when Macbeth plans Duncan's murder while showing such loyalty to the king. This is dramatic irony since while Duncan does not know of Macbeth's plan. He has trust in him. In conclusion it can be seen that without the key role of the supernatural. Macbeth would not have been led to do many of the things he did. His character in general would be completely different. The use of supernatural in Macbeth, emphasises the temptations of ambition. Without the influences of the witches Macbeth could not have reached his downfall trying to achieve his ambitions. The supernatural caused Macbeth to become a darker and more evil person with each supernatural encounter. Macbeth is a great tragedy that binds together light and darkness, good and evil, jealousy, guilt, fate and fear. These themes recur throughout the play and without them "Macbeth" would have been completely different. The use of the witches, visions, sleep and ghosts are all key elements of the supernatural themes in the play and the use of each dramatically influences the drama. ...read more.

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