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Fate And The Supernatural In Macbeth

1049 words - 4 pages

What will, and will not, happen in the future can never be known for certain, but what if the possibility was available? Believable or not, Shakespeare portrays the role of fate in Macbeth and the significance of the supernatural. In the play, Macbeth is given prophecies concerning his fate from the weird sisters, three witches who represent the supernatural throughout the play. Macbeth’s belief in the witches’ prophecies leads him to commit immoral actions. The guilt that overcomes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is, again, the work of the witches’ prophecies about Macbeth’s fate. Macbeth's over confidence in his fate and in the supernatural is misplaced. All these elements lead to the demise of Macbeth.In the beginning of the play, the witches are chanting and discussing the fate of Macbeth. Witches are creatures of the supernatural, they’ve seen the future and have decided to use what they know to manipulate and have some fun with Macbeth. To do this, deliver prophecies, one of them informing him of his future rein over Scotland. At first, Macbeth is not convinced of the truth in their words, this is evident when he says, “The thane of Cawdor lives, a prosperous gentleman; and to be king stands not within the prospect of belief, no more than to be Cawdor.” (1, 3, 75-78). Macbeth does not believe he will become king because he has not yet learned he has been named the new thane of Cawdor. When he learns the second prophecy of the witches is true, he starts to believe that what the weird sisters are saying is true and in the reality that being king is his fate. At this point his ambition to secure his fate and become king leads Macbeth to commit immoral and dishonourable crimes. Macbeth's first grand betrayal is to Duncan, by seeing to his murder while he is staying a guest in Macbeth's own home. If that wasn't enough Macbeth and Lady Macbeth blame the murder on the kings innocent grooms and kills them as well. Later in the play, Macbeth orders for the death of Banquo showing his continued belief in the supernatural powers of the witches and his insecurities about his future as king. While Macbeth awaits the news of Banquo’s death, he begins to shiw anxiety and guilt. That night, during the dinner Macbeth is hosting, he sees the ghost of Banquo in his seat. He becomes extremely bewildered and anxious and has a great outburst, he demands to know who is playing some kind f joke on him and states, "Thou canst not say I did it." (3, 4, 63), claiming he cannot be blamed since he didn't commit the murder himself. The hallucination of seeing the ghost of Banquo is a response to his attempt to repress his guilty conscience and bury it deep inside him. Also, in the time period the play was written, it was believed that ghosts would only appear before those whom are guilty of the murder. This is significant because many believed in the supernatural, and it is a sign of the supernatural. The hallucinations...

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