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What do you find most dramatically effective and interesting about the supernatural in 'Macbeth' as a play todayand in the time it was performed?

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What do you find most dramatically effective and interesting about the supernatural in 'Macbeth' as a play today and in the time it was performed? During the reign of James I witchcraft was strongly believed in by many people, and an Act was drafted by the Parliament in 1563, saying that murdering by witchcraft was punishable by death, therefore the public believed strongly that witches had magical powers and accepting that they existed. In 1604 another Act, similar to the first, was drafted declaring that anybody found guilty of practising witchcraft was to be executed, so the laws against witchcraft became stronger and the belief also grew stronger. There are many interesting sections in Macbeth which could be concentrated on, due to the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. The use of the supernatural in the witches, the visions, the ghost, and the apparitions is a key element in making the concept of the play work and in making the play interesting In the first scene of 'Macbeth', the three witches or the weird sisters are waiting on a heath for Macbeth. It opens with thunder and lightning in the background instantly creating an atmosphere of evil, and that something interesting or scary is about to happen. The first characters that the audience encounter are the three witches, this is a very strange opening scene as it is probably not what the audience expect, it is called known as 'The Scottish play' and not 'The supernatural play' so seeing witches as the first part of the play instead of, the Scottish army for example would be surprising, to say the least, for the audience The appearance of the witches on stage could be portrayed as very evil by their clothes, make-up, special effects, etc. And also by their speech as their speech is full of paradoxes and confusion. The first witch begins to speak, "When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning or in rain?" ...read more.


evil, this would have a tremendous effect on the audience, mainly in horror, as the thought of removing or abolishing your sex just for the sake of evil and ruthlessness is not in human interest to do so normally, so the audience, at this point in the play, would certainly notice supernatural and unnatural things taking place. The audience would find the fact that Lady Macbeth is happy with evil entering her, unnatural or even twisted, when she says: "And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty," especially if this was being performed in the time of Shakespeare, with all the belief in witches and the supernatural that the audience possessed. "Make thick my blood" This, in my opinion, is one of the most effective and clever lines in Lady Macbeth's soliloquy, it could be interpreted in many ways but only definitely in one. It could mean that, she wants her blood to be thick and just make her merciless, but that is quite vague and simple, but the other way that the audience could interpret it is very interesting; The audience know that when milk goes thick and curdled, it turns, disgusting or even repulsive, so to make her blood thick or curdled would be to make it sour and repulsive, also to make her ruthless. She asks the spirits to "stop up th' access and passage to remorse" To kill somebody and not regret it is truly evil and frightening, having a great effect on the audience of disturbance, after this, she also asks "That no compunctions visitings of nature shake my fell purpose" showing that she has power, but this to audience would be unbelivable, for Lady Macbeth to think that she can have power of nature its self, which would also mean power over God and other spiritual elements. She also says that she want to block "th' access and passage to remorse" creating an image for the audience that there is a passage to remorse and it can be directly blocked instantle. ...read more.


It is also showing that she doesn't have to try hard to get the evil spirits to penetrate her and control her. Another thing I found interesting about this production is the dagger scene, as in this production, the dagger is shown to the audience, but when Macbeth goes to grasp it becomes an illusion or a 'dagger of his mind.' Doing this is kind of a medium between having a dagger and not having a dagger, so the audience can see it but can see that he is imagining it. In another production that I have seen, it is much more basic and no special effects are used, apart from sound effects. It is filmed on a stage which I thought was quite obscure and peculiar as this is not normally done, but I does show the audience how stage productions are performed and how they can manage without all the props. I also noticed that, at the very beginning in Act I Scene I , when the three witches meet, they are rushing about and in hurry, as in the Polanski version, but they are being more energetic as if they were running from something, so the first scene is chaos and is hard to follow, but as soon as it comes to Scene two, everything is calm, this silence that is thrown though out the room suddenly as the film is being watched would give that calm easy and gentle feeling to it. There is only one production of 'Macbeth' that I, personally, did not like, this was the one with the darkness all the way through, this may prove to be effective to some audiences but, I think to make a film interesting, and keep the audience watching it, there has to be some excitement or change of scene every so often. The director of this film was probably trying to show that 'Macbeth' is a sad, tragic play, so to some people, this may be better to watch for some audiences, as it shows the overall mood all the way through the film. Robert Gibson T10 Macbeth ...read more.

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