There is also the supernatural element as the witches call up the evil spirits they serve at line 62. This ties in with other supernatural images in the play, such as when Macbeth sees the floating dagger before him before he murders Duncan. This supernatural image adds to the importance of the witches in the play. The witches also serve to develop our picture of Macbeth. In line 45, the witches, when they hear Macbeth knocking, say ‘Something wicked this way comes’.
The witches appearance, "secret, black, and midnight hags" also indicates their evil nature. The witches dark meeting place and dark appearance all emphasize their destructive nature. Macbeth in Act 4: consulted with the witches, murdered Macduff's family, and continued to create chaos in Scotland. Macbeth in Act 4 is described as an agent of disorder, "untitled tyrant bloody-sceptered". The language in Act 1 that described Macbeth has changed from "noble" and "kind" to the diction of Act 4 witch describes Macbeth as "black Macbeth" and a "tyrant".
Shakespeare begins the play with darkness; using lightning and thunder to introduce evil, the evil introduced are three witches. Before the witches meet with Macbeth, together they recite “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (Shakespeare I, I 10), simultaneously. By saying this, the presence of darkness sets the temperament for the entire play. These three witches use their ability to influence the future in order to effect Macbeth’s decisions. The witches play a very important role as they initiate the evil plot.
The setting in which Shakespeare first presents the witches is On the Moor with thunder and lightening in the background. It is unusual the way the three witches meet in a storm. This atmosphere implies that the witches are frightening and its very location ‘On the Moor’ a remote and isolated waste land area, gives a scary feeling. The witches talk to animal sprits and talk about what they have been doing. One says that she was killing swine (Diseases of cattle were believed to be caused by witchcraft in Shakespeare’s day.)
As a result of this theme lots of chaos, lies, secrets and total disorder are caused. The three Witches introduce the theme of 'Fair is Foul' in Macbeth and are the first characters seen in the play: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair". Their words seem to contradict each other, presenting the idea of illusion versus reality in the play. The fact that the Witches are in the first scene of Macbeth confirms that they are important characters and main devices of evil. They meet in foul weather and talk of "thunder, lightning" and "the fog and filthy air", giving the audience a first impression that Macbeth is a dark, dangerous play in which the theme of evil is central.
Use of Nature and Supernatural in Macbeth The aura of darkness, deception, and horror present in William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, envelopes the entire play and is created mainly by the sense of violence and foreboding that is evoked by the imagery. The dominant images of nature and the supernatural contribute to the atmosphere of this tragedy. The predictions of the weird sisters, along with natural forces and supernatural images, have lead to chaos in Scotland due to their impact on the characters of the play, which brings about many delusions and deaths. Nature is an image brought up many times, in both physical and human aspects. The storms made by the witches, consisting of heavy rains, lightning and thunder, cause darkness to lure over Scotland.
Shakespeare uses imagery and symbolism to weave an intriguing web of darkness and evil that captivates the audience throughout the play, "Macbeth." Two important symbols are darkness and blood. Combined with violent weather and witches, they help to weave an eerie tale of murder plotted by Lady Macbeth and eventually embraced and executed by Macbeth. Dark and stormy nights often set the scene, and they become analogous with the happening of evil deeds. Intertwined with dark, stormy nights is the appearance of witches and the powerful symbol of blood.
The last part of Lady MacBeth is filled with echoes, regardless of the sleepless nights. Fear has set in around the whole play. Everyone fears his or her lives. As the play comes closer to its end the spread of evil accelerates rapidly. The root to all evil of this play is connected with the witches.
The supernatural theme in Macbeth is extremely prominent throughout the play. Shakespeare 's use of supernatural accents are used to create an eerie, ominous motif. While the unnatural events were wildly admired due to its uncanniness, Shakespeare used
Atmosphere and Setting in Macbeth Atmosphere and setting plays a very important part in Macbeth. The play starts with the Witches, which is at a desolate place with thunder and lightning. This is first of all a pathetic fallacy because of the weather being so bad and the hideous appearance of the witches. This scene also gives us the first sign of the supernatural. The witches are the man source of the evil and supernatural in the play and they also give an impression of fear, horror and mystery.