The Importance of the Theme of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The Importance of the Theme of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

The supernatural in Elizabethan times was seen as a very real threat to society. The public thought that there were such things as witches who could perform acts of the supernatural such as turning humans into animals and causing changes in the weather. Any mention of the supernatural in these times scared the public and many people, mainly women, were executed on the thought that they were witches.

In the beginning of the play, as the 3 witches meet, they suggest another time. "When shall we three meet again? In thunder lighting or in rain?" In this they suggest 3 weather states that represent darkness and
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Macbeth is trying to convince himself that it is not the ghost of Banquo but his imagination and is trying to back up is views by running over in his mind that Banquo is actually dead. The involvement of the supernatural in this scene is quite clear, as Macbeth is the only one that sees the ghost, which shows it is on his conscience and the witches have forced him to do something against his will. This means that the witches have manipulated Macbeth and are forcing him, against his will, to perform acts of murder and deceit to get Macbeth to where the witches have foreseen him.

The affect that the supernatural has on Lady Macbeth is clear to see as in act 1 scene 5 she has opened Macbeth's letter and the words that Macbeth tells her have a great affect on her. "Come thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of Hell". These words of Lady Macbeth show her great desire to perform acts of evil and to promote her and Macbeth to power she will do anything as she believes that the predictions of the witches will come true as so far they have been correct. She uses the imagery of night and darkness to portray evil as the night is seen to be mysterious and a time of unrest for Elizabethans as they fear the unknown. "Nor Heaven peep through
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