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The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Macbeth is a play in which moral themes are divided into good and

evil. The narrative of the play is simple.There is clearly distinction

the images of good and bad. 'Fair is Foul' is both a statement about

the weird sisters' moral preferences. Brooding evil is a the major

theme in Macbeth and is present throughout the play in both the

characters and the events as they present different types of morality.

The play maps Macbeth's loss of confidence in the faith in humans as

he becomes tempted by the witches evil and he turns towards the

supernatural. The play focuses on Macbeth, a tragic hero of noble

descent whose gradual descent and downfall is the result of the

supernatural. I shall assess this later in the play.

In Act One Scene One, the "three wierd sisters" are planning to meet

Macbeth. By beginning the play with this scene Shakespeare indicates

the importance of the witches in the play and of the supernatural evil

that they represent. Generally speaking most plays introduce the main

characters first, to set the stage.However in this case the hero

Macbeth would normally be introduced but it is the three weird

sisters, thereby assigning more importance to them, as is obvious in

the play. The reccuring chant "fair is foul, and foul is fair" is used

to show us that the three witches can conjure up spells and magical

potions, which later climax in the decline of Macbeth. The clever use

of language, 'fair is foul, and foul is fair', is vey effective

because the use of irony here confuses the listener into assuming that

this statement is true when it is in fact what they are stating i...

... middle of paper ...

...short and powerful play, presenting a great nature

corrupted by ambition and an unscruptulous wife. As Macbeth becomes

more involved with the supernatural his state of mind changes. His

previous values and morals disintergrate as the supernatural takes

control of him. Macbeth descends into a world filled of greed which

forces him into commiting far greater murderous actions which are

solely down to his greed. The image of sleep, and being denied sleep,

links both the character in their story and Macbeth. If sleep is the

most natural and innocent act then when Macbeth murders the king he

becomes evil and unnatural because he has 'murder sleep'. He can no

longer tell the difference between his waking or sleeping nightmare:

he is in a living hell. This hugely brings us to favouring this as a

big part in Macbeths downfall.
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