The Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth by William Shakespeare
In this essay I am going to explore the use of the supernatural in the
play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare. This is going to be done
by showing how much power the supernatural elements had and how it
influenced peoples' mind. The supernatural elements are the use of the
witches, the dagger, Banquo's ghost and the apparitions in the play.
Firstly, the use of the witches in the play is a key element in the
supernatural. When the play was written in 1600, people in those days
believed in things like the witches and they also believed thought
that the power and knowledge of the future came from the devil. All
this shows why the witches influence Macbeth throughout the play and
why are part of Macbeth's struggle between good and evil.
The witches start of by giving the audience a clue to what the future
holds for Macbeth. "When the battles lost and won," (Act 1, Scene 1)
is said by the second witch. This says that every battle is lost by
one side and won by another and so Macbeth's fate is that he will win
the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of his
soul. This proves that the witches knew about what was going to happen
as what the witch says occurs later in the play.
The prophecies that are revealed by the witches bring a broad
temptation to Macbeth, "My thought, whose murder yet is but
fantastical" (Act 1 Scene 3). This shows that Macbeth ambition is
present before the prophecies. He would never have thought seriously
about killing Duncan without the witches. This shows that Macbeth is
hugely influenced by the supernatural.
The supernatural element also taking place in Lady Macbeth's soliloquy
of calling upon evil spirits to give her power to plot the murder of
Duncan without any remorse or conscience. "Come, you spirits that tend
on mortal thoughts, unsex me here. Come to my woman's breasts for
gall" (Act 1 Scene 5), her soliloquy shows that she relied on the
supernatural by asking for the spirit to get rid of her natural
feelings of concern by making her cruel. The interference with the
supernatural might cause her to be possessed by ghost when she goes
mad and sees blood on her hands.
As Macbeth awaits for the signal to make his way up to the stairs, he
sees floating dagger and said "Thou marshal'st me the way that I was
going; and such an instrument I was to use. There's no such thing. It
is the bloody business which informs" (Act 2 Scene 1). Here Macbeth
begins to question whether his mind playing tricks on him or there is
presence of evil that put the dagger which being covered with blood.
This shows that there is interference of supernatural that leads
Macbeth towards the Duncan's chamber to do the murder. The dagger
symbolizes the point of no return for Macbeth. If he...