The witches in Macbeth are very important in the plot and develop certain aspects of the play. They make greater the theatrical experience with images of darkness, thunder and lightning that make Macbeth the tragedy it is. Their actions also add to the play, dancing round the cauldron and chanting ‘Double, double…’. Their appearance as ‘dark hags’ adds mystery to the play. The witches also add a sense of evil and of the supernatural.
As a result of this theme lots of chaos, lies, secrets and total disorder are caused. The three Witches introduce the theme of 'Fair is Foul' in Macbeth and are the first characters seen in the play: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair". Their words seem to contradict each other, presenting the idea of illusion versus reality in the play. The fact that the Witches are in the first scene of Macbeth confirms that they are important characters and main devices of evil. They meet in foul weather and talk of "thunder, lightning" and "the fog and filthy air", giving the audience a first impression that Macbeth is a dark, dangerous play in which the theme of evil is central.
Act 1 Scene 1 Film Version of William Shakespeare's Macbeth In Elizabethan England, witches and the supernatural were a very genuine threat to everyday life. They were recognised as an antithesis to the divinely ordained order of the universe, often attributed with unexplained disease to neighbours and to livestock, as quoted in Act 1, Scene 3 when the second witch notifies the others that she has been 'killing swine'. The Elizabethan population did not commonly believe that witches were born supernatural beings, rather that they gained their powers by selling their souls to Satan. Indeed, this play was extremely relevant to modern life around the time of its first production. James I was personally terrified yet fascinated by witches after an attempt on his life by Agnes Sampson, a convicted witch.
By allowing the Witches to see into the future, it made Macbeth more suspenseful. With their prophecies about Macbeth?s future, they intrigue the audience to see if they are correct. The Witches were a symbol of evil, and Shakespeare uses this fear of the devil to give his plays an additional eerie and haunting effect. Shakespeare also used an evil character that can easily influence the main character in his stories, in this case, it was Lady Macbeth. It is essential that Lady Macbeth and the three Witches create the plot of Macbeth.
From the very beginning of the play, supernatural and unnatural forces have inspired and encouraged Macbeth. They interfere with natural events and completely change the character of Macbeth and his wife. Witches, apparitions, ghosts, and other unnatural images are used to demonstrate the evil effects and consequences those forces can have. Shakespeare is successful in telling his audience that only evil will come when Macbeth or any other person tampers with natural forces for personal gain.
Influence of Supernatural on William Shakespeare's Macbeth During Shakespeare's time people were frightened of witches as they were associated with evil. Many people were accuse of being witches and automatically burnt at the stake. Some of these people were old, deformed in some or people who were living alone, therefore considered as abnormal and a threat to society. Witchcraft was taken very seriously which probably made this play extremely interesting for people in Shakespeare times as it also settled peoples views of witches at the time. Shakespeare has chosen to open the play with the witches on a moor in thunder and lightening.
Macbeth has over trusted the witches and has only looked at one dimension of their apparitions and not taken into account that their message could be interpreted differently. this provesa to be his downfall ====================================================================== In the play "Macbeth," there were many interesting sections which could be related on due to the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural.. Without the witches, the ghost, the visions, and the apparitions, "Macbeth" would have been a dull and tiresome play, it was 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 I have concluded that this ancient superstition of spirits and witchcraft enhanced the play dramatically.
The Supernatural in Macbeth Everyone has a slightly different interpretation of the supernatural but the interpretation which we can start with is Shakespeare’s. Everyone of Shakespeare’s time found the supernatural fascinating. Shakespeare interpreted the supernatural as witches, magic, unnatural and evil and he expressed his beliefs in the play, “Macbeth” very clearly, as he portrayed the three deformed women with control over the weather and the ability to predict the future. These three evil witches with magical powers were the creation of Shakespeare’s interpretation of the supernatural. Shakespeare’s contemporaries believed in the supernatural very strongly and a majority of them were frightened of it, including the king of that time, King James I of England.
The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Dramatic impact is the effect on the audience. 'Macbeth' is a play designed to be performed for and to involve the audience. Dramatic influence is the way supernatural has effect upon the characters in the play. In Shakespeare's time, most people believed in witches and witchcraft and they were the objects of morbid and fevered fascination. Persecution reached terrifying proportions.
How do the witches create an atmosphere of nightmare And evil in ‘Macbeth’? The play ‘Macbeth’ was written in the early seventeenth century, in a time when the English people believed very strongly in the existence of witches. A range of powers were certified to these evil beings, including the ability to see into the future, control the weather, fly and become invisible at will and communicate with the devil. The witches were believed to enjoy making human beings suffer, by causing livestock to get ill and die, for example. From the outset of this play, when three witches appear on stage, the contemporary audiences would have anticipated a plot that demonstrated just how evil such creatures could be.