• 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 the play Macbeth?'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'What is the role of the supernatural in the play Macbeth?' 'Fair is foul and foul is fair' such a well-known line from the play Macbeth, with such power behind the words. I have reason to believe that the role of the supernatural plays a very important part in Shakespeare's play Macbeth, we can say that the supernatural occurs 4 times throughout the play that we can call supernatural because they are physically unnatural things to be seen, e.g. the appearance of Banquo's ghost, the prophecies and the air-drawn dagger etc. But I have gone further into depth to find that the supernatural isn't just physically noticeable but also mentally through hallucination etc. I have many reasons to believe this because the supernatural is involved throughout the play and also progresses. The supernatural raises all sorts of questions concerning reality and appearance, it is seen physically through the witches but also unrealistically through the power of the mind. With this kept in mind, this causes an argument to say that some of the hallucinations and power that is not seen physically as supernatural, but from my point of view I feel that this is not the case. From the very start of the play does the supernatural begin, and this is seen in the form of the witches. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Macbeth wants this to happen, and wants to make sure that this does happen. She speaks to herself 'unsex me here' telling the evil spirits to make her unfeminine so that she can commit the murder, she is praying to the devil; calling evil spirits to take away her good do that she can commit the murder. Being Macbeth's wife, she has the power to persuade him to commit the murder of Duncan so that he can become king. I think this is also a different form of the supernatural, showing good verses evil. I think that Shakespeare did this to show the clear contrast between what is good or natural and what is evil or unnatural, which is often represented as the supernatural. Macbeth is now tempted by what the witches have said, and what his wife is persuading him to do. But also Macbeth's ambitions play an important part in this, after all he is a free agent and so he can also make the decisions, even if he is encouraged to do the wrong thing. The witches almost represent Macbeth's evil ambitions, almost as if they too are unreal, just a trick of the mind. The witches have also taken power over lady Macbeth that makes it seem they have almost taken over Lady Macbeth's mind, the power of the witches is persuading and tempting Macbeth to commit the murder through Lady Macbeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

The supernatural isn't just physical or seen mysterious happenings but also mentally, that is why many would argue with the fact that the air-drawn dagger could be either supernatural or a trick of the mind. With the history of the witches at the time that the play was written, it added an even greater effect to the play, and had an even bigger impact with the audience. The supernatural is the evil in the world through different forms, in Macbeth's case, through his own mind. Because witches were hated so much at the time the play was written, Shakespeare composed the play; it was a perfect opportunity to use witches, so that the audience would be more interested and entertained in the play. The witches were the most well known form of supernatural occurring in the play because of their history. The supernatural is the plot of the play, without it, it would be dull and boring. I feel that the supernatural was a very entertaining part of the play and that as it increased I also became more entertained, the role of the supernatural is the role of the evil in our lives. The Evil in our thoughts, the unnatural beings that occur rather than the natural and good things that occurs in out life. Louise Farrugia ...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. Explore the Role of the Witchesin the play Macbeth.

    James I was terrified of witches, who he believed destroyed his ship "The Tiger" and tried to kill him. The populace would follow the example of their monarch and as a result people hated witches and were horrified by the accounts they heard.

  2. What role does the supernatural play in 'Macbeth'?

    By this stage in the play the audience already has a sense of apprehension about the witches, by Shakespeare's use of pathetic fallacy and the witches usage of couplets 'Fair is foul an foul is fair.' This means: good is bad and good is bad; they are violating the chain of being and God's natural order.

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

    "Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more" Macbeth doesn't believe the predictions at first. Soon Macbeth starts to believe the predictions when he has found out that he has been named Thane of Cawdor. Banquo isn't thrown by the witches' predictions.

  2. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    When Macbeth becomes evil, after killing the King he decides it's time to get rid of his friend, Banquo. In order to do this he has got to plan it first. He has told two murderers that Banquo is their enemy to make them want to kill Banquo in the first place.

  1. Shakespeare's use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

    In this case, she wanted to have some (if not all) the chestnuts in this woman's lap. The woman told her to get out, and as the witch describes the woman, she is an overweight scabby wretch who is rather spoilt.

  2. Macbeth Analysis

    Also for most the scene it shows how much of a kind and generous man King Duncan is. This will make the audience have sympathy for him as Macbeth is going to murder him, and also it will make the audience dislike Macbeth even more.

  1. Examine the role of the witches in Macbeth.

    to the audience as puzzling creatures, possibly closer akin to Satan than humans. Their characters seem uncertain and their strange speech patterns are an enigma. They speak many contradictions including 'when the battle's lost and won' and 'fair is foul and foul is fair'.

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

    We are also told that he has been given the title of 'Thane of Cowdor', as a reward. Whilst awaiting his arrival, the witches discuss their spiteful treatment of a sea- captain, who they deprive of sleep because his wife would not give the first witch chestnuts.

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