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The Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

In this essay I am going to explore the use of the supernatural in the

play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare. This is going to be done

by showing how much power the supernatural elements had and how it

influenced peoples' mind. The supernatural elements are the use of the

witches, the dagger, Banquo's ghost and the apparitions in the play.

Firstly, the use of the witches in the play is a key element in the

supernatural. When the play was written in 1600, people in those days

believed in things like the witches and they also believed thought

that the power and knowledge of the future came from the devil. All

this shows why the witches influence Macbeth throughout the play and

why are part of Macbeth's struggle between good and evil.

The witches start of by giving the audience a clue to what the future

holds for Macbeth. "When the battles lost and won," (Act 1, Scene 1)

is said by the second witch. This says that every battle is lost by

one side and won by another and so Macbeth's fate is that he will win

the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of his

soul. This proves that the witches knew about what was going to happen

as what the witch says occurs later in the play.

The prophecies that are revealed by the witches bring a broad

temptation to Macbeth, "My thought, whose murder yet is but

fantastical" (Act 1 Scene 3). This shows that Macbeth ambition is

present before the prophecies. He would never have thought seriously

about killing Duncan without the witches. This shows that Macbeth is

hugely influenced by the supernatural.

The ...

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...From all above, the use of the supernatural provides a suspenseful

Macbeth play. The first prophecies have led Macbeth to murder Duncan

and Banquo in order to gain the power of the throne. Lady Macbeth also

relied on supernatural by her soliloquy to change her into a creature

without human compassion, which at the end shows that spirits might

possess her. The vision of the dagger also shows the interference of

spirit that leads Macbeth's way to Duncan's chamber. After his

encounter with the ghost of Banquo, Macbeth proceeds to visit the

witches one last time to insure his security. After this last visit,

Macbeth becomes over confident which cause his tragic death. Without

the witches, Lady Macbeth, strange nature, vision of dagger, ghost,

and the apparitions, the play "Macbeth" would have been a dull and

tiresome play.
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