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"Till Birnum Wood do come to Dunsinane"(Act 5.6) Discuss the significance of this prophecy in relation to the theme of order and disorder and the elements of the supernatural and the unnatural in Shakespeare's play Macbeth.

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Introduction

"Till Birnum Wood do come to Dunsinane"(Act 5.6) Discuss the significance of this prophecy in relation to the theme of order and disorder and the elements of the supernatural and the unnatural in Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Shakespeare's great tragedy "Macbeth" deals with several themes, but none greater than the theme of order and disorder. This is explored through several ways, but mainly through and exploration of the elements of the supernatural and the unnatural. Through this investigation, this theme of order and disorder will be explored through the elements of the supernatural and unnatural, and the third prophecy of the weird sisters, "Till Birnum Wood do come to Dunsinane". After these topics have been discussed, the significance of them in regard to the play will be explored in a concluding paragraph. The threat of civilized order descending into disorder is a theme common to all of Shakespeare's plays. It was a widespread concern at the time he was writing. In Elizabethan England, order was very important; everyone had his or her place. When Macbeth kills Duncan, a crime that in Shakespeare's day would be the worst crime of all, he upsets that order. The fact that a Thane kills the King and unrightfully takes the throne defies the order and throws the rest of the world into disorder, right down to the natural world. It is said by the Thane of Ross's father that strange thing are happening, beyond anything else he has ever witnessed (Act 2.4). ...read more.

Middle

The ghost here is a feature of the supernatural. He later comes back to the weird sisters (in Act 4.1) to see what they can tell him, since he has killed Banquo. He gets totally different prophecies than he expected. He is told to fear Macduff, not to fear anyone who is of woman born and not to be worried until "Birnum Wood do come to Dunsinane". He takes these as good signs, and doesn't worry bout them, but decides to kill Macduff's wife and son, and tries to kill Macduff himself, just to be safe. Here he is going against the very belief in destiny that he used to justify the killing of Duncan. Here he moves to a deeper state of evil, and reached a new level of killing. Macduff escapes to find Malcom in England, Duncan's rightful heir. This is an attempt to restore the natural order to the kingdom. They, along with the Siward, the Earl of Northumberland, return with an army to Dunsinane to over throw Macbeth. They wait at Birnum Wood outside Macbeths castle in Dunsinane, but Macbeth is not worried. He is reassured by the prophecies of the weird sisters on two levels that Birnum Wood won't come to Dunsinane, because a forest won't move. I will not be afraid of death and bane, Until Birnum forest come to Dunsinane", and that he need not fear of a man of woman born. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is an obvious play on words by Shakespeare showing how he has been reduced to a life only compatible to that of Satan, or Lucifer. This depicts the evil qualities about Macbeth. This is all because of the supernatural witches, and their prophecies, preying on Macbeth's ambitions and dreams. Macbeth deals with many different themes, but the most evident being that of order and disorder. Shakespeare uses the beliefs of the time to make the play more interesting to the public, largely through the three weird sisters. The supernatural and the unnatural are used with magnificence in this play, to emphasize the negative features of rebellion and disorder. Many prophecies why he wrote this play, such as to show the people of England that rebellion only causes death and disorder throughout the world, human and animal. Many think that King James the 1st of England would have been watching this play, and that many things would have tied him into the play, indirectly. Some believe it was to further his own monetary wealth through showing the troubles with rebellion, to help keep the order and relative peace of the time, so he could continue to write. Regardless his motive "Macbeth" is still, and will remain one of the most cherished works of the English language of the renaissance. Scholars and historians alike will continue to analyze it, and much more is left in this play to benefit generations to come. Sources carolinanavy.com/fleet2/f2/zshakespeare/ Macbethhall/cas/131.html, Blood, darkness and disorder in Macbeth. www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/pages/webevilinra.html, MACBETH IS A BAD, BAD MAN An Internet WebQuest on Evil in Literature www.wordsworth-education.com/macbeth/themes.htm, Themes ...read more.

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