Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - Witches and Lady Macbeth Hold the Blame

Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - Witches and Lady Macbeth Hold the Blame

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The Witches and Lady Macbeth Cause the Downfall of Macbeth

 
    William Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth shows the gradual descent of the character Macbeth into the moral abyss.   Macbeth's yearning for power draws him to the murder of King Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff's family. It is difficult to understand how a courageous, gentle man such as Macbeth, could be involved in such villainous activities. In truth, it was the witches and Lady Macbeth that transformed into evil Macbeth's natural desire for control and authority.  The play, Macbeth clearly illustrates that wicked intention must, in the end, produce wicked action. 

 

Shakespeare focuses on Macbeth's courage early in the play.  For example, Duncan and the sergeant both compliment Macbeth's mental and physical bravery in Act I, Scene II.  Macbeth "carv'd out his passage"(I.ii.21) until he and the enemy general were face to face.  In the same act, the reader is told that Macbeth is brave because of his "disdaining Fortune"(I.ii.19) In addition to his quality of courage, Macbeth is also a gentle man.

 

Demonstrating his love and devotion for his wife, Macbeth refers to her as "his dearest partner of greatness"(I.v.11).  Lady Macbeth views his kindness as somewhat of a problem for their quest for power.  She says that Macbeth is "too full o' the milk of human kindness"(I.v.17)  to place them on the  throne of Scotland as a result of murder. 

 

Macbeth realizes that Duncan is, in fact, a good and humble king.  Other than to fulfill self-centered desires and uncontrolled ambitions, there is no valid reason to murder him.  However, both his wife and the three witches soon pressure Macbeth to murder Duncan.  The three witches are supernatural in...


... middle of paper ...


...es are ruined.

 

Works Cited and Consulted:

 

Biggins, Dennis. "Sexuality, Witchcraft, and Violence in Macbeth." Shakespeare Studies VII (1975)

 

Callaghan, Dympna. Woman and Gender in Renaissance Tragedy. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1989

 

Foakes, R.A. "Images of death: ambition in Macbeth." In Focus on Macbeth. Ed. John Russell Brown. Boston: Routledge, 1982.

 

Muir, Kenneth. "Introduction." In Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir. New York: Routledge, 1992.

 

Novy, Marianne. Love's Argument: Gender Relations in Shakespeare. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984

 

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir. New York: Routledge, 1992.

 

Stallybrass, Peter. "Macbeth and Witchcraft." In Focus on Macbeth. Ed. John Russell Brown. Boston: Routledge, 1982.

 

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