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Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in "Macbeth" Essay

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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.

In the opening scene of the play, the entrance of the three witches
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Scene iii. Line 58) is also an element of supernatural. Later on in the play, we found Macbeth constantly relying on the witches' supernatural powers and their ability to call out the three apparitions, yet another symbol of the supernatural. Over here, the calling out of the apparitions as supernatural elements in the play could be intended to increase the thrill and suspense of the audience. At the same time, bear in mind that Shakespeare had the play performed for King James I, perhaps, the supernatural scenes on the witches is intended to cater to King James I's personal interest.

It is also noted that the presence of the witches' in every scene, is often accompanied by thunder and dark skies, as though Nature is disturbed and troubled by their presence and supernatural forces. The disorder and disturbance of Nature in the presence of the witches' supernatural forces could also reflect the disorder portrayed in the play as soon as the Great Chain of Being was violated when Macbeth murdered King Duncan and assumed the throne.

Terrible and peculiar incidents of the supernatural surfaced after King Duncan was murdered. Life literally, is turned upside down. The day was covered with darkness, and an owl; an untameable bird of night and death kills upon a falcon, a day creature and a royal companion. Also, King Duncan's horses became mad and ate each other. (Act II. Scene iv. Line 10-19). These supernatural surfaced after Macbeth's act of
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