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What dramatic use does Shakespeare make of the supernatural? Be sure to include the witches, the dagger, Banquo's ghost, the apparitions and the Old man.

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Introduction

What dramatic use does Shakespeare make of the supernatural? Be sure to include the witches, the dagger, Banquo's ghost, the apparitions and the Old man. There are many themes in Macbeth like ambition, loyalty and hypocrisy but Shakespeare has used the theme of the supernatural to create dramatic emphasis and suspicion. He has used the witches, dagger, Banquo's ghost, the apparitions and the old man to create to add an element of the supernatural to Macbeth. Throughout the play the witches create a sense of mystery. The opening scene is significant because it puts the audience in fear. 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' This quote by the three witches is echoed throughout the play and shows a sense of evil. Macbeths opening line 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen echoes the witches words and is significant because he is already in tune with their way of thinking and you know that he will be depending on the witches a lot throughout the play. The witches can tell the future which tempts Macbeth to go back to them. On their first meeting, Macbeth is present with Banquo, the witches tell Macbeth three prophecies and he is initially stunned. ...read more.

Middle

He talks to Macbeth about the witches who have given him reason to believe in them. 'I dream'd last night of the three weird sisters; To you they have show'd some truth.' When Macbeth is left alone he starts to hallucinate and imagines he sees a dagger in front of him which is guiding him to King Duncan. 'Is this a dagger which I see before me.' 'Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going.' The a bell rings which determines him to proceed with the killing of Duncan. 'The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell.' When the murder has been committed, Macbeth is shattered and hysterical. He is in such a state that he brings the two bloody daggers he used to kill Duncan and the guards with him. 'This is a sorry sight.' Macbeth is probably looking at his hands, which are holding the daggers and claims that it is a miserable sight. However Lady Macbeth tries to pull her husband together and orders him to wash his hands and to go back and place the daggers beside the guards. 'Go get some water And wash this filthy witness from your hand, Why did you bring these daggers from the place? ...read more.

Conclusion

The second is a bloody child and represents Macduff. 'Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn The power of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth.' The third apparition is a child crowned with a tree in his hand represents Malcolm. 'Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birname Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him.' All three prophecies convince Macbeth his fate and make him more confident which leads him to his death. It is a contrast to the first three prophecies which came true when he was alive. The Old Man is significant with the theme of supernatural because he and Ross discuss the unnatural events that occurred on the night of Duncan's murder. They learn from Macduff that Macbeth has been chosen to be the next king. The Old Man states that this is the worst night of his life and he cannot remember seeing anything worse than this. '..but this sore night Hath trifled former knowings.' To add effect to the scene darkness has taken place of light. 'And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.' The Old Man is a representative of the people and has a memory that goes back a long way and as far as he can recall he has never experienced anything like this. The supernatural events in Macbeth have definitely been effective and has created a more suspicious tragedy. Azmeen Noreen ...read more.

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