When Shakespeare wrote his play, Macbeth in 1606 a large majority of people were interested in witchcraft. This is why Shakespeare made the witches and the witches’ prophecies play a major part in the storyline of the play. In the time of Macbeth witches were not thought to be supernatural beings themselves, but supposedly gained their powers by selling their souls to Satan. 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.
The supernatural elements presented in The Tragedy of Macbeth each demonstrate hints of wickedness or evil. For example, the three witches. When presented in the story, their presence always gives off bad vibes. In the exposition of the tragedy, the First Witch asks, “When shall we three meet again? / In thunder, lightning, or in rain?” (I:I, 1-2). The use of “thunder, lightning, or in rain” indicates to the reader of the malicious nature of the three witches. Upon encountering the three witches, Macbeth is astounded. Their prophecies alarm him, causing him to ask what they mean by “All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!” (I:iii, 50). Many times, the paradoxes used by the witches confusing. In one scene, the witches appeal in favor of Banquo. The use of their paradox, “Not so happy, yet much happier,” indicates their intention of portraying things not as they really seem. (I:iii, 66). Meeting the three witches is Macbeth’s first step in losing his sanity. He struggles to differentiate what is real and what is not.
Macbeth, a tragedy, a well-known work of Shakespeare filled with physiological challenges, supernatural events, and even death, is a part of many superstitions. There is a theatrical superstition, called the Scottish Curse that says it is considered bad luck to say the name Macbeth inside a theater because it will cause the performance to end in disaster. Some people say that the supernatural events in the play Macbeth can only truly be seen as supernatural; others say the events are just a product of insanity. Many supernatural events in Macbeth such as his encounter with the witches, are a product of the insanity of the one and only Macbeth, himself. The results of Macbeth’s insanity originate from the true supernatural events, the actions of his wife, Lady Macbeth, and all of the murder he commits.
In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth, is a brave and loyal subject to the King of Scotland, but as the play progresses, his character begins to change drastically. Evil and unnatural powers, as well as his own passion to become king, take over his better half and eventually lead to his downfall. The three main factors that intertwine with one another that contribute to Macbeth’s tragic end are the prophecies told by the three witches, Lady Macbeth’s influence, and finally, Macbeth’s excessive passion and ambition which drove his desire to become king to the utmost extreme. The prophecy told by the three witches was what triggers the other factors that contribute to Macbeth s downfall. In the first act, the witches
The Play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare is shaped by supernatural forces with the use of the weird witches, the apparition of the ghost, and the floating dagger. These forces lead Macbeth to act in the way he did and add suspense to the play. The play opens with the three witches, and later on Macbeth and Banquo encounter them. They prophesized that Macbeth will be promoted to Thane of Cawdor, and then become King of Scotland. In addition to that, Banquo was told that his sons shall be kings, but never himself. Macbeth was skeptical about the prophesies, but until some of King Duncan’s men came to inform Macbeth that that he was to be named Thane of Cawdor due to the betrayal of the previous and condemned to death. Then Lady Macbeth
The tragedy of Macbeth comes about because of a single event in his life. If that one moment, the meeting with the witches on the heath, had not happened then Macbeth would no doubt have gone on to be a loyal and respected subject of King Duncan and, later, King Malcolm. However, the meeting did happen and the powerful force of ambition was unleashed within Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It is the combination of these two factors, the meeting with the witches and Macbeth's own inner demons, that lead to tragedy, and make the play 'terrifying' in the Aristotelian sense.
In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, there are many fascinating sections which could be focused on due to the suspense and the connection of the supernatural. The supernatural is what causes conflict in the play and the prophecies from the witches in act one scene three is the inciting action in the piece. The supernatural causes the forthcoming conflict by inspiring Macbeth to execute Duncan so he could become king of Scotland. Through temptation, the supernatural stimulates Macbeth to contemplate arrogantly and for his own advantage. The supernatural in Macbeth presents prophecies which tempt Macbeth with the idea of power. This leads Macbeth to contradict his faithful and courageous nature by planning an assassination on King Duncan with the egotistical intention of becoming king and later annihilating other characters in the play with the determination of retaining his own powers. Macbeth was tempted by the original prophecies and showed clear motivation to act upon them.
In Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare uses an underlying motif of the supernatural to control the characters and add a new dimension to the play.
Act 2 scene 1, Macbeth talks to the ground, as if it could hear him,
In this essay I am going to explore the use of the supernatural in the
The aura of darkness, deception, and horror present in William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, envelopes the entire play and is created mainly by the sense of violence and foreboding that is evoked by the imagery. The dominant images of nature and the supernatural contribute to the atmosphere of this tragedy. The predictions of the weird sisters, along with natural forces and supernatural images, have lead to chaos in Scotland due to their impact on the characters of the play, which brings about many delusions and deaths.
The supernatural was a popular element in many of the plays written in Shakespeare's time (including Hamlet) and everyone of Shakespeare's time found the supernatural fascinating. Even King James I took a special interest in supernatural and written a book, Daemonologie, on witchcraft. It must be remembered that, in Shakespeare's day, supernatural referred to things that were "above Nature"; things which existed, but not part of the normal human life and unexplainable. The play Macbeth involves many supernatural actions that act as a catalyst for suspense and thrill, insight into character, foreshadowing of future events as well as making connections with the theme.
Thunder and lightning is used once again to open Act I Scene 3. As the
The supernatural has always fascinated and continues to intrigue mankind. In many of Shakespeare’s plays, he uses the supernatural to strengthen a particular scene or to influence the impression the audience has about someone or something. This was not strange or uncommon in Shakespeare’s time. In fact, during the 1500s, many people still believed in witches and witchcraft. Even in today’s society, with such advanced science and technology, many people are still influenced, if not dictated by the supernatural. For example, religious people have the belief that their saviour, Jesus Christ was a man of many miracles; one of which was he turned water into wine. Despite the fact that it
In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the supernatural and the role it plays in motivating characters is present throughout the duration of the play. The supernatural causes conflict in the play and the prophecies from the witches in act one is the inciting action. The apparition, Banquos ghost, and the dagger are examples of how the presence of the supernatural causes conflict. The theme of the supernatural causing conflict in Macbeth plays an important role in the plot of the play.