The Supernatural in Macbeth

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The Supernatural in Macbeth More than a few elements of the supernatural can be discovered within the action and dialogue of Shakespeare's plays. However, the extent and nature of those elements differs to a large degree. There are traces of it to be found in Henry V, "Pardon, gentles all,/The flat unraised spirit that hath dar'd...to bring forth/So great and object" (Lucy 1). There are also elements of it apparent in Winter's Tale, "What I did not well I meant well" (Lucy 1). The supernatural is used most fearsomely in Hamlet, with the ghost of Hamlet's father representing the most frightening apparition in all of the Bard's plays. However, the supernatural is used to an almost whimsical degree in A Midsummer's Night Dream and The Tempest. In both of these plays the supernatural does not assume an evil demeanor, though it does wreak havoc on the lives of those in its midst. Yet, the supernatural is connected more with a generic nature of chance than one that is pure evil as in Macbeth or pure "foul and most unnatural" as it is in Hamlet (Shakespeare 1078). In A Midsummer's Night Dream there is a great deal of mirth and whimsy and the supernatural elements are more of a mischievous variety than any kind of sinister entities. For example, in keeping with the humorous order of the day within the play, Shakespeare gives us elements of the supernatural that add to the mood and theme of the piece. For instance, we see supernatural forces in characters like Oberon, "a spirit of another sort", lord of the Realm of Dreams who represents the "white light of dawn" (Lucy 8). Queen Mab and a host of faeries also inhabit this realm of mortals who would be fools. The overall effect o... ... middle of paper ... ...nopsis.htm Dec. 20, 1998: 1. "To Strut And Fret Upon The Stage." http://www.io.com/~`jlockett/Grist/English/macbethsources.html Dec. 20, 1998: 1-4. "William Shakespeare's Macbeth." http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/NOTES/macbeth.html Dec. 20, 1998: 1-8. Bloom, H. Shakespeare: The Invention Of The Human. Riverhead Books, NY: 1998. Hodara, S. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." http://web.syr.edu/~shodara/midsummer.html Dec. 20, 1998: 1-6. Lucy, M. "Shakespeare And The Supernatural." http://www.mwsc.edu/~eng368/summer97/public/7.24.97-10.55.59.html Dec. 20, 1998: 1-13. Noda, M. "Weird Creatures And Weird Imagination." http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/6630/macbeth.htm Dec. 20, 1998: 1-3. Shakespeare, W. The Complete Works Of Shakespeare. Gramercy Book, NY: 1975.

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