Essay on Superstition in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1284 Words6 Pages
Superstition in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Throughout Elizabethan times, Witches and witchcraft were considered to be in existence. Seeing a large proportion of the female community being condemned to death, which involved either drowning, hanging or being burnt at the stake was quite plausible at this time. Such savage practices were urged on by macabre and fevered fantasy of the supernatural. In my essay I intend examining how Shakespeare deployed this obsession of superstition in Macbeth and how it is a crucial element of the play. To begin with, the tone of the paranormal theme is set right from the beginning when…show more content…
The audience make up their mind of whether or not the witches actually have a powerful influence over Macbeth by basing their interpretation of whether his actions result from personal choice or from outside influence and, whether the witches are independent creatures playing on Macbeths mind who ultimately have an effect on his future dealings, or representatives of destiny, whose prophecies are only declaration of the inevitable. Macbeth retains a heroic aura in the view of the audience as long as he either is able to use his free will and personal choice to resist the witches' external evil influence. However in the second act we see how Macbeth fails to resist the witches influence and loses this heroic banner and turning into the villain, he no longer attempts to stifle the guilt in his conscience, but instead seems to accept the murder as an inevitable act beyond his control, saying, "I go, and it is done. The bell invites me" this type of language is used to signify the pivotal point when Macbeth surrenders himself to the witches and their supernatural powers. At this point there is little doubt in the audiences eyes that Macbeth is being externally dominated, this idea would merit Macbeth, to a certain degree, some sympathy. This scene would probably be staged with Macbeth occupying a doleful looking complexion

More about Essay on Superstition in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Open Document