Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

opinion Essay
5132 words
5132 words

Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

The supernatural is widely used in Macbeth, and covers major sections

of it. It is used to generate interest, and to provoke thought and


At the time the play was written, James the 1st was the English

monarch. James the 1st was originally James the 4th on the Scottish

throne, until there was a union of crowns between England and Scotland

in the late 16th century. Shakespeare wrote the play for him, so the

play Macbeth is popularly known as 'the Scottish play'.

Also during this time there were many more occurrences when witches

and heretics were burnt at the stake than at any period in history,

because people believed they manufactured plagues, pestilence and

famine through their 'black magic.'

When Shakespeare was writing the play, he wanted to impress the king

and interest his audience on his stage, the Globe Theatre. Shakespeare

did this by including the supernatural in his play.

Both king and populous have always been intrigued by the horror of

witches and the supernatural, but not as much as in the period of the

16th and 17th centuries. This was probably because of people wanting

to be religiously purer and remove disease from society. In the 16th

century many events occurred that were bizarre and impossible to

explain so were blamed on the supernatural.

Before James gained the crown of England as well as Scotland,

witchcraft was already on the people's minds. In 1563, parliament made

law that making murder by witchcraft was punishable by death. Forty

years later, any use of witchcraft was punishable by death. These laws

were made by a protestant parli...

... middle of paper ... the famous sword fight between Macbeth and Macduff

at the end of the play. In the RSC's version, the sword fight is done

conventionally with swords. I consider this to generate a more

dramatic and keener interest in it. The Globes version was represented

with pebbles signifying their lives, and a weird hand tugging that I

did not understand.

If I directed the play, I would have gone for a more modern approach.

Macbeth could be considered just as some kind of Shakespearean current

affairs representation. Because of this, I consider that the witches

could have some kind of terrorist guise. Biological and chemical

weapons could replace the broth. I think this would be more

dramatically effective for the audience. I would also get full use out

of the lighting and special effects available in a more modern


In this essay, the author

  • Describes the ways in which a woman can have it her own way by getting things on demand.
  • Analyzes how he has echoed what the witches said in act one scene one.
  • Opines that thane doesn't normally know a man's full name.
  • Narrates how thane of cawdor tells him that he is than. this is not a surprise.
  • Opines that the quote above is saying that macbeth is too loyal to duncan.
  • Opines that she would also do many other things to make sure she is ready.
  • Analyzes how the actor is nervous at the end of the scene to take a leading role.
  • Analyzes how ross says he is not here, so macbeth thinks it could be a joke.
  • Opines that macbeth isn't the strong soldier he used to be, and that his character is not strong.
  • Opines that lady macbeth is ridiculed for ridiculing him.
  • Explains that act 4 scene 1 is the next scene in the play for the supernatural.
  • Opines that many men would have the guts to do, let alone a woman with strong will.
  • Opines that he needed some sort of method to hide his army from the enemy.
  • Opines that the rsc's version of the play has a sword fight at the end.
  • Explains that act 5 scene 1 is a scene to show how lady macbeth has coped with each murder, as she hasn't been seen since act 3 scene 4.
Get Access