• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the role of the Supernatural in "Macbeth"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the role of the Supernatural in "Macbeth"? When Shakespeare wrote this play in 1606 a large majority of people were interested in witchcraft. King James interest in witches and the supernatural was great because he thought they were responsible for his near death in 1590. He was so fascinated by witches that he wrote an article about them called 'Demonologie�. This may be why Shakespeare has made the witches and the witches� prophecies play a major part in the storyline and overall feeling of the play Macbeth. In the time of Shakespeare, witches were not thought to be supernatural beings themselves, but supposedly gained their powers by selling their souls to Satan, and were then instructed and controlled by 'familiar spirits�. The existence of witchcraft was recognised by English law - an act of 1604 made the practice of it punishable by death. People that were old, female, poor, unattractive, and others were accused of being witches. They were believed to have supernatural powers, that they could create storms, put curses on others, fly and cause people to become possessed by the devil. There can be little doubt that most of Shakespeare's audience would have believed in witches, and for the purpose of the play, at least, Shakespeare also accepted their reality. ...read more.

Middle

He now has a great surge of greed and ambition and it is this that drives him towards his coming actions. He becomes impatient and takes matters into his own hands. But the witches can't control his destiny. Macbeth creates his own misery when he is driven by his own sense of guilt. This causes him to become insecure and relies more on the witches help and guidance. The witches offer great enticement, but it is in the end, each individual�s decision to fall for the temptation, or to be strong enough to resist their captivation. The three Witches are only responsible for the introduction of these ideas and for further forming ideas in Macbeth head, but they are not responsible for his actions throughout the play Everything that the witches say sounds they are chanting a magic spell. In act 4 scene 1 lines 4-9 : 'Round about the cauldron go..........charmed pot. � Here the poet uses rhyming couplets and a different rhythm to the rest of the play. There is a repeated chorus in which they all join in. �Double, double, toil and trouble: Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the end, it all becomes too much for Macbeth. He starts to go delusional and on the night of the Duncan murder many strange things happen. Macbeth has a vision of a dagger, which then leads him to Duncan�s room. He talks to the dagger, and questions its existence, whether it is just a figment of his imagination. The strange and unnatural events, especially the imaginary dagger, show that Macbeth is not fully in control of his own actions and is being influenced by evil. But everyone is responsible for his own destiny. This is an essential theme in this tragedy. Macbeth chooses to gamble with his soul and when he does this it is only him who chooses to lose it. He is responsible for anything he does and must take total responsibility for his actions. Macbeth is the one who made the final decision to carry out his actions. He made these final decisions and continued with the killings to cover that of King Duncan. However where as some facts show that the results were all of his own doing, in act 4 he returns to the witches voluntarily to find out his fate in order to see what actions he should take. This suggests that the witches did have a great influence on his actions. Banquos ghost Conclusion ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the Role Played by the Witches in the Tragedy of Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    His face obviously displays his feelings and emotions well. Lady Macbeth responds by telling him he needs to disguise that if her plan is going to work. He must appear normal but be plotting underneath, "...look like th' innocent flower, But be the serpent under 't."

  2. How does Shakespeare Present the Supernatural in Macbeth?

    Macbeth thinks that everything on their earth is mortal therefore are women born, so that nothing or no one will ever harm him. The three apparitions all tell Macbeth's future unless he is careful and realises the truth behind their words.

  1. English Macbeth coursework-Is the supernatural wholly responsible for the tragedy that occurs or is ...

    me more" In addition, his tone changes as he gains confidence and he becomes aggressive. This suggests that he is in control and can make up his own decisions. However, there are reflective moments when he reflects on his actions and decides against murder.

  2. Discuss the role of the witches and the supernatural in 'Macbeth'

    The witches greet Macbeth, with three titles, "Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King that shalt be." Banquo responds by saying: "Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair?" In comment to Macbeth's reaction, he seems anxious all of a sudden, possibly due to previous deceiving thoughts of becoming King.

  1. Discuss the Role of the Witches and Other Supernatural Elements

    "The instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deep consequence." Lady Macbeth seems very happy to have heard about the predictions. There is a certain sense of evil to Lady Macbeth. "O never shall sun that morrow see" She is a dominant lady, because of this she seems to have power over Macbeth.

  2. The extent to which the supernatural contributes to Macbeth’s tragedy

    We have come in at the end of the witches meeting, just as they are arranging their next appointment before their familiar spirits call them into the fog and filthy air. From the beginning we can tell that the witches can foretell the future, and are creating some unpleasant magic, which is to involve Macbeth.

  1. How would an audience in the time if Shakespeare reacts to the role of ...

    The question they ask each other is in what weather they would like to meet in. "When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning or rain?" By adding the question mark, this tells us that they have already decided where and when, but they will purposely choose what weather

  2. Examine the role of the witches in Macbeth.

    This is very much alike to the lines or acts in a play, while his exit will be his fate. At the end of the soliloquy there is also another clothes image, when Banquo says 'look how our partner's rapt'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work