The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

Length: 1275 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

In Macbeth the supernatural is used to entertain and terrify the
audience. Supernatural things are those that do not belong in the
natural world. In Elizabethan times, people were so terrified of the
supernatural because they believed that there was a natural order
which effectively governed the universe, and when this order was
misaligned things would start to go very wrong. For instance, were a
Thane to kill a king and then become king, he would have changed the
natural order and thus strange things would happen, and in Macbeth
they did – horses started eating each other and weather became very
irregular. Today we are not terrified in the same way by the
supernatural. People today are not scared of witches, evil spirits and
hell, or at least not as much as the Elizabethans. However, we do
share a fear of murder, hallucinations, madness and manipulation;
which all play a large part in the telling of Macbeth.

The witches in Macbeth are exactly what the Elizabethans would have
expected them to be, scary and unnatural. Set against a dramatic
backdrop of “Thunder and lightning” these witches can tell the future
(“there to meet with Macbeth”) speak in paradox (“when the battle’s
lost and won” “fair is foul and foul is fair”) and have familiars,
spirits who take on animal forms to aid their masters in their evil
doing (“I come, Greymalkin!”). They even talk in a different rhythm
from other characters, using trochaic meter – which is the opposite
rhythm from a heartbeat and speak in tetrameter rather than pentameter
as the other characters do. and of course, worship the goddess of
wit...


... middle of paper ...


... Scene 2) “How now my lord?
Why do you keep alone, of sorriest fancies your companions making
using those thoughts which should indeed have died with them they
think on? Things without remedy should be without regard. What’s done
is done.”

In conclusion, modern and Elizabethan audiences are not frightened or
entertained in the same way by the supernatural. Elizabethans were
genuinely frightened by witches and spirits and today we are not,
though Elizabethans and modern audiences are entertained by witches
and spirits. However, madness, hallucinations, manipulation and
murder are still as frightening today as they ever were, and are not
in any way entertaining because they could happen to us. The Macbeths
were normal people with ambition and because of one stupid “prophecy”
their lives were ruined by the witches.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Supernatural Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay

- “But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,/ And like a rat without a tail,/ I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do” (1.3.8-10). Shakespeare 's Macbeth was thoroughly filled with similar supernatural spells, along with unnatural creatures and apparitions. In the play, Macbeth is characterized as an evil, vindictive tyrant. Macbeth 's brutality towards those closest to him including: Lady Macduff, Banquo, and Dunacn; initiate and continue the frequency of the physical evil that is disrupting the natural world. The supernatural theme in Macbeth is extremely prominent throughout the play....   [tags: Macbeth, Supernatural, Three Witches]

Strong Essays
1754 words (5 pages)

The Supernatural Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essays

- In Shakespearean times, many people were intrigued by the concept of the supernatural and were influenced by greater forces which controls their fate or destiny. This resulted in many people becoming superstitious and believing in the existence of paranormal characters such as witches, ghosts and other entities. Shakespeare incorporates many elements when writing the play Macbeth. The supernatural is a component that William Shakespeare uses to evoke an essence of nefarious environment and to demonstrate the inability of humans to control their destiny....   [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Macbeth]

Strong Essays
2224 words (6.4 pages)

The Supernatural Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essays

- Macbeth Essay The word supernatural is defined as a manifestation or event considered to be of supernatural origin. In The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the supernatural puts a lot of influence in Macbeth 's actions throughout the story. There’s witches who predict the future, a dagger with blood on its handle that is imagined in Macbeth 's head, and ghosts that make him lose his head. Pun intended. All of these paranormal occurrences makes Macbeth do the unthinkable. The supernatural plays a big role in the play, and Macbeth uses it to guide him throughout his greedy endeavors to rise to power....   [tags: Macbeth, Banquo, Three Witches, Lady Macbeth]

Strong Essays
1489 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Supernatural Elements Of Macbeth By Joseph Conrad

- As stated by the great Polish Novelist Joseph Conrad, “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” (Brainy Quotes). Ah the supernatural, a silver tongued devil with the charisma of a spick and span car salesman. While many overlook the supernatural, this literary element can be the driving force in many stories that both develop plot, and hint towards the outcome of the story. Macbeth specifically has a large spectrum to which supernatural aspects are applied....   [tags: Macbeth, Supernatural, William Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Macbeth, By William Shakespeare

- Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I am the Second Witch from the play, Macbeth and my job is to identify and analyse how I have represented power in Macbeth. Macbeth is an English play published in 1606 by William Shakespeare during the reign of James I. It is based on the concept of the impure thirst for political and social power during the 17th century (Colonial Period). William Shakespeare’s intent of Macbeth is to exaggerate and influence the reader of the damaging physical and psychological effects of the desire for power....   [tags: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Supernatural]

Strong Essays
1484 words (4.2 pages)

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The supernatural plays a huge role in the play of Macbeth. There are many different types of supernatural occurrences that take place in this play such as with witches, apparitions, and hallucinations. The supernatural affect all of the characters in the play in different ways, their different personalities often lead to different outcomes then were possibly intended. The witches in Macbeth play a huge role in the story but many people argue about what that role is. Some say that the witches planted the desire to be king into Macbeth's head, while others say that he already had the desire and the witches were just confirming what he already wanted to do....   [tags: witches, murder, visions]

Strong Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- 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....   [tags: Dramatic Impact Influence Macbeth]

Strong Essays
2195 words (6.3 pages)

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Supernatural happenings are out of the ordinary and unexplainable in the natural world, for example ghosts and witches which both play an important part in Macbeth. In Shakespeare's day, many people believed in witches and prophecies. It was said that supernatural happenings were from the devil and some people even got killed because they were said to be evil. Shakespeare's play Macbeth has many mysteries and actions that were thought to be supernatural, which could be either supernatural or real....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
886 words (2.5 pages)

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth The supernatural element of Macbeth is very important. Not only can it be used to terrify and entertain it is also contributes to the tragic aspect of the play and I consider it one of the main themes of the play. The supernatural element underpins the tragedy - if the witches hadn't made their prophesies to Macbeth then Macbeth wouldn't have killed Duncan, nor would he have ordered the death of Banquo. Neither would Lady Macbeth have wanted Duncan murdered nor gone insane, nobody would have died; there would have been no tragedy and no play....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
2674 words (7.6 pages)

The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In Macbeth the supernatural is used to entertain and terrify the audience. Supernatural things are those that do not belong in the natural world. In Elizabethan times, people were so terrified of the supernatural because they believed that there was a natural order which effectively governed the universe, and when this order was misaligned things would start to go very wrong. For instance, were a Thane to kill a king and then become king, he would have changed the natural order and thus strange things would happen, and in Macbeth they did – horses started eating each other and weather became very irregular....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)