Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

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Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth

When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in the early 1600s the King of England

was James I. James was king of Scotland too. He ruled in Scotland

before coming king in England in 1603 as well. James was supposed to

have descended from the real Banquo. Some people often think that

Shakespeare wanted to flatter James I by writing this play by showing

James that he was nothing like Macbeth. In Shakespeare's play Macbeth

it has been discovered that Shakespeare did not create he play from

scratch. He used history books such as Chronicles of England and

Scotland and Ireland. The people in Macbeth are based on real people

but the way they are portrayed to act in Macbeth the play is very

different to how they acted in real life.

Shakespeare uses supernatural in Macbeth in many different ways. He

uses the supernatural in the witches, Lady Macbeth, nature, the

vision, the ghost and the apparitions-these are all key elements in

this play. I think that the supernatural means that it does not belong

to the natural world.

As there was no scenery or lighting, the actors (as women were not

allowed to enter or act in he theatres) would have a bigger effect on

the audience and would really bring out the supernatural elements in

Macbeth. Around the time that Macbeth was written people believed in

witchcraft and wizardry. Even the king at the time, James I, wrote a

book containing witchcraft called 'daemonology'. The people in

Shakespearian times would truly believe that the witches and the

events that take place could actually come true and happen in real

life; but of course today we do not really believe i...

... middle of paper ... the supernatural

come alive and encourages the audience to feel the supernatural. Words

and visual effects let people experience the supernatural on a deeper

level of emotion. Evil deeds are always committed in the dark whereas

good happens when it is light. Also the visual effects of the dagger,

the apparitions and Banquo's ghost help people to understand what the

character is feeling and why they are acting the way they are. Seeing

the supernatural in a play shows how realistic it can be and also how

powerful the supernatural really is. I think that without the clever

use of the supernatural in Macbeth it would not be as fascinating and

thought provoking as it is.


Macbeth - Hilary Burningham

CGP - GCSE Text guide

Complete play of Macbeth

Oxfordshire school, Shakespeare - Macbeth
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