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The supernatural in Macbeth

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Introduction

The supernatural in Macbeth The Witches, also known as the Weird Sisters, are part of the supernatural element of the play. Without them, the play would surely not have taken the path that it did for either Macbeth, nor Lady Macbeth would have been driven, by greed and lust for the crown, to the extent of murder and regicide. Although the witches only feature in a few scenes, their presence is essential and they are the characters who drive Macbeth to the position of King and eventually to his death. In the following I will assess the roles that the witch play and decide how important they actually were. Firstly, the appearance of the witches, give us a better idea of their character. They are described as having "choppy fingers, skinny lips and beards." When Banquo meets them, he says "That not look like the inhabitants o'th'Earth and yet are on it?" He says they look imaginary and when they disappear, he describes them as "bubbles of the Earth" Clearly they are going to influence Macbeth's life in a 3.major way. ...read more.

Middle

She wants to use her sexual powers and give the witch's spirit to Macbeth as she says, "Hie thee thither, so that I may pour my spirits inot thine ear and chastise with the valour of my tong, all tha inyedes thee from the golden round." This shows that the witches' action of telling Macbeth the prophecy has had an impact on Lady Macbeth. She wants to be rid of her feminine attributes and be more like a man, so she "doesn't see the knife that makes the cut" This is like the witches who seem half-male with their beards. This is ironic because her military husband is very conflicted about killing the King and has internal struggles, when he's meant to be strong. When Macbeth meets the witches again, it is clear that from their first meeting, he has change, du to the influence of the witches. They have made him hungry for more, greedy to hold onto the crown and have power in his hands. ...read more.

Conclusion

The witches seem to be able to influence people in general who they want for example, the woman who 'munch'd and munch'd' on chestnuts was terrorised by the Witches and food was demanded from her. The witches were going to destroy her husband's boat, by sending winds because they did not get want they wanted, implying their dominance over nature and people. It is unknown for what reasons the witches tell Macbeth about the future, whether a warning or merely fun. Hecate quoted "how could you dare to trade and traffice with Macbeth in riddles and affairs of death?" Clearly she is angry In the end, it is clear that the witches influenced everyone in the play but especially Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, driving the both of them to death. The play completed a full circle with Macbeth as victor then as loser. In my opinion the witches had a major impact on the eventually outcome of the play through all the above and putting thoughts of power, lust, greed and glory into human minds and the play would never have occurred as it did without their meddling. ...read more.

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Response to the question

Although this essay title doesn't offer a clear topic to discuss, this essay does well in the introduction by focusing on the role of the supernatural and its importance in the play. Throughout the essay the importance is discussed, and ...

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Response to the question

Although this essay title doesn't offer a clear topic to discuss, this essay does well in the introduction by focusing on the role of the supernatural and its importance in the play. Throughout the essay the importance is discussed, and is evident in the conclusion when the piece discusses the effect on Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. It is nice to see a clear focus throughout the essay, not diverging into unnecessary context!

Level of analysis

The analysis could be much stronger in this essay. Although they are able to choose quotes which support their arguments well, they do not comment on the language or imagery used by Shakespeare to present their supernatural nature. As with a lot of GCSE essays, this piece does not show much understanding that Macbeth is a play: if it discussed the stage presence of the witches and the horror of the audience, the analysis would be much stronger. Similarly, this essay does not refer to Shakespeare once. Without acknowledging that Shakespeare is constructing the play, having the witches say the quotes for a reason, the essay does not flow naturally into explaining what the effect is and why certain quotes were used. Due to this, this essay narrates quite regularly, simply telling the story.

Quality of writing

At GCSE level, many students struggle to move away from using the first person in their essays. There is no need to say: "In the following I will assess" or "In my opinion". It is much stronger to conclude by saying "The evident makes it clear that" or another similar phrase. Grammar doesn't flow in some places, but a strong part of this candidate's essay is the signposting of each paragraph. It is clear what point they are about to explain - a possible improvement could be fewer paragraphs which explain the points further.


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Reviewed by groat 05/02/2012

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