Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth And Supernatural

Shakespeare: Macbeth

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In the play "Macbeth," there were many interesting sections 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. Looking through each Act and Scene of
the play, it is noticed that the supernatural is definitely a major factor on
the play's style. The use of the supernatural occurs at the beginning of the
play, with three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. This gives the audience
a clue to what the future holds for Macbeth. "When the battles lost and
won" (Act I, Scene I, l.4) was said by the second witch. It says that every
battle is lost by one side and won by another. Macbeth's fate is that he will
win the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of his soul.
After the prophecies of the witches' revealed the fate of Macbeth, the plan in
which to gain power of the throne is brought up. The only way to gain power of
the throne was for Macbeth to work his way to the throne, or to murder King
Duncan. Murdering the king was an easier plan since the motivation in his dreams
urged him on. Lady Macbeth also relied on the supernatural by her soliloquy of
calling upon the evil spirits to give her the power to plot the murder of Duncan
without any remorse or conscience (Act I, Scene V, ll.42-57). The three sisters
are capable of leading people into danger resulting in death, such as the sailor
who never slept (Act I, Scene III, ll.1-37). Lady Macbeth has convinced her
husband Macbeth to murder King Duncan. On the night they planned to kill Duncan,
Macbeth is waiting for Lady Macbeth to ring the signal bell to go up the stairs
to Duncan's chamber. He sees the vision of the floating dagger. The interest of
the dagger is that it leads Macbeth towards the chamber by the presence of evil
of the dagger being covered with blood. Then the bell rings and Macbeth
stealthily proceeds up the staircase to Duncan's chamber. Once the murder has
been committed, eventually Banquo has his suspicions about Macbeth killing
Duncan to have power of the throne. There is constantly more guilt and fear
inside Macbeth and his wife that they decide to have Banquo killed. Macbeth and
his wife attend a banquet in which a ghost appears. Once the murderer notified
Macbeth that the deed was done, he observed the ghost of Banquo sitting in his
regular seat. This caused Macbeth to act in a wild manner, making people
suspicious of his actions. (Act III, Scene VI, ll.31-120). The use of the
supernatural has increased the suspense now that Macbeth is constantly relying
on the prophecies of the three witches. Hecate, the Queen of witches is angry
with the three sisters for not involving her in their encounters with Macbeth.
The witches plan to lead Macbeth to his downfall by making him feel
over-confident. (Act III, Scene V, ll.1-35). Further on in the play, Macbeth
finds his way to the witches' cave and demands to know what lies ahead for him.
The three witches predict what he is going to ask and produce the first
apparition which is an armed head. "Macbeth!, Macbeth!, Macbeth!, beware of
Macduff; beware thane of Fife. Dismiss me: enough." (Act VI, Scene I,
ll.77-78). The first apparition tells Macbeth to beware of Macduff. Then the
second apparition appears (a bloody child), and says: "Be bloody, bold, and
resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm
Macbeth." (Act IV, Scene I, ll.85-87). This apparition informs Macbeth that
no man born from a woman can harm him. finally, the last apparition appears and
is a child crowned, with a tree in his hand. The apparition is saying that he
will never be defeated until Great Birnam wood shall come against him to High
Dunsinane Hill. "Be lion melted, proud, and take no care who chafes, who
frets, or where conspirers are: Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great
Birnam wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him." (Act VI, Scene
I, ll.98-102). These apparitions convinced Macbeth that this was his fate and
became over confident, and lead him to his death. The use of the supernatural in
Macbeth results quite well with the respect of the unknown. Without the witches,
the ghost, the visions, and the apparitions, "Macbeth" would have been
a dull and tiresome play. Even today's readers need motivation to read, and this
ancient superstition of spirits enhanced the play dramatically.
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