The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2195 Words9 Pages
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. Between 1560 and 1602, hundreds of people, mostly women, were convicted as witches and were executed. Although some voices were raised against this superstitious and barbarous persecution, most people had believed in witched. There were hundreds of pamphlets describing the lurid details of witchcraft trials printed. They enjoyed large and popular sales, which were the equivalent to our popular newspapers today. Witches were credited with diabolical powers. They could do things like predicting the future, fly, bring on night in daytime, cause fogs and kill animals. They cursed enemies with fatal wasting diseases and induced nightmares and sterility, and could take demonic possession of any individual they chose. Witches could raise evil spirits by concocting a horrible brew with nauseating ingredients. Macbeth may have been performed before King James in 1606. King James was very keen on the topic of witches. He did many investigations of witchcraft. A group of witched attempted to kill him once, but their plot was discovered and was taken to trial. There are many events in the play of Macbeth, showing much of dramatic impact on the audience and dramatic influence acted upon the... ... middle of paper ... ... revenge for his family. Shakespeare tries to create a supernatural atmosphere by the language he uses. Certain words recur throughout Macbeth, creating meaning, atmosphere and significance. For example the words, 'blood', 'fear', and 'sleep'. The use of words like this repetitively, creates tension, and a dark, spooky and dramatic atmosphere. Characters like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth had spoken soliloquies, which reveals to the audience their inner thoughts and motives. Macbeth often thinks aloud, about half his lines seem to be spoken to himself. This use of him thinking aloud is very essential to the audience, as the audience needs the knowledge of how he feels after acting upon something. For example, he had felt bad after killing Duncan, and he had kept killing because he did not want to lose what he had gained.
Open Document