Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - The Three Witches

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Macbeth: The Three Witches William Shakespeare has been by far the world's most popular playwright for more than 350 years. His ingenious ability as a playwright has captivated audiences and will captivate audiences for years to come. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1564. The specific date of his birth is not known but is celebrated on the feast of St. George, April 23. Little is known about his boyhood, but through examination it is thought that he collected a lot of his information from books and from daily observation of the world around him. During his life Shakespeare wrote many brilliant tragedies. He died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52. One of these brilliant tragedies was Macbeth. It is thought to have been written between 1603 and 1606. Macbeth is considered the shortest of Shakespeare's tragedies, but not less powerful in its depiction of evil, greed, jealousy, and the madness these emotions bring to a person. (Shakespeare, pg. v) In any work of literature or drama there is usually foreshadowing. Foreshadow can be defined to be, "a sign of something to come: indicate or suggest beforehand; prefigure; presage." (Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia) Playwrights use this technique to give the audience a sense of what is to come or what exactly is going to happen to a character. Foreshadowing can be easily detected or it cannot be noticed at all until the end of the play or story. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the prophecies of the witches and thoughts of Macbeth himself to foreshadow within the play. And Macbeth himself detects them somewhat as does the audience. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the three witches as main sources foreshadowing. In the play they are conveyed as prophecies. The audience experiences a little of these prophecies almost immediately in the opening scene and act of the play. When they talk about meeting Macbeth they say they will greet him, "when the battle's lost and won." (Shakespeare, pg.1) And then they yell together, "fair is foul, and foul is fair."(Shakespeare, pg.1) These two examples foreshadow that some sort of evil will be coming and that there will also be a victory of sorts, but the audience doesn't know specifically what yet. These also suggest a great battle is to be fought against good and evil and the events that follow will unfold at a rapid pace. This foreshadowing can be detected by the audience because they can feel the emotion of doom and evil rising. The actual prophecies given by the witches occur in the third scene
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