The Supernatural In Macbeth Essay

1846 words - 8 pages

Everyone has a slightly different interpretation of the supernatural but the interpretation which we can start with is Shakespeare’s. Everyone of Shakespeare’s time found the supernatural fascinating. Shakespeare interpreted the supernatural as witches, magic, unnatural and evil and he expressed his beliefs in the play, “Macbeth” very clearly, as he portrayed the three deformed women with control over the weather and the ability to predict the future. These three evil witches with magical powers were the creation of Shakespeare’s interpretation of the supernatural. Shakespeare’s contemporaries believed in the supernatural very strongly and a majority of them were frightened of ...view middle of the document...

The rest of the play is based on this supernatural happening. After learning that Macbeth is to become King of Scotland the play follows Macbeth’s plot to get rid off King Duncan and then Macbeth’s life after the murder.

Macbeth is now Thane of Cowdor and has a strong belief in the witches’ predictions. King Duncan is to stay at Macbeth’s castle. Macbeth is overwhelmed to hear this and travels ahead of the King to warn his wife of King Duncan’s arrival the following day. Lady Macbeth is aware of Macbeth’s meeting with the witches and what they have said. She is more wanting of the royal title than her husband, and has deviously plotted to murder the King during his stay. Again the supernatural is bought in to once again attract the immediate attention of the audience. “ Is this a dagger I see before me”, count

Macbeth has a vision of a dagger just before he is to murder the King. This surreal vision of dagger is another example of the supernatural. This dagger encourages or “pushes” Macbeth to commit the crime. Although it is meant to encourage Macbeth to do the murder, it is at the same time, showing the audience that what Macbeth is about to do, although it being obvious, is evil. Shakespeare uses the supernatural to guide the audience to show what evil is. You begin to notice, as you read through the play, that supernatural is used in all places where evil is present.

Macbeth is now the King of Scotland since both of Duncan’s sons have fled the country in fear of their lives. The only obstacle in Macbeth’s path now is his close friend Banquo, because Banquo suspects Macbeth of Duncan’s murder since he was also present when the witches told of Macbeth’s Kingship.

Banquo tells Macbeth that he suspects him of the Kings murder; Banquo is clearly suggesting that Macbeth has played foully to achieve his Kingship. Also, it is not only Macbeth who was given this, “supernatural soliciting”. The witches also predicted Banquo’s future.

Banquo is told that he will not become a King but he shall be the father of many Kings. This is a problem for Macbeth because the only way Banquo’s children will become Kings is if the present King, Macbeth, dies and so Macbeth fears being murdered and being discovered to have murdered King Duncan. So he has Banquo murdered and on the same night invites him to a feast. Macbeth obviously does not expect Banquo to attend, but Banquo does attend as a ghost, and through the supernatural Shakespeare shows Macbeth’s fear and guilt. The King, Macbeth, is about to sit down at his table with his wife and some nobles when he sees no space for himself, although there is, but according to him a figure seems to be already sitting there, which we later discover, is the ghost of Banquo. Macbeth declares, “What treachery is this, which of you have done this”, his fellows are confused and some are apprehensive and begin to link King Duncan’s death with...

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