Supernatural forces in Macbeth

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supernatural forces in Macbeth

In the play 'Macbeth,' there were many interesting sections which

could be concentrated on due to the suspense and the involvement of the

supernatural. The use of the supernatural in the witches, the visions, the

ghost, and the apparitions is a key element in making the concept of the

play work and in making the play interesting. Looking through each Act and

Scene of the play, it is noticed that the supernatural is definitely a

major factor on the play's style.

The use of the supernatural occurs at the beginning of the play, with

three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. This gives the audience a

clue to what the future holds for Macbeth. 'When the battles lost and won'

(Act I, Scene I, l.4) was said by the second witch. It says that every

battle is lost by one side and won by another.

Macbeth's fate is that he

will win the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of

his soul.

After the prophecies of the witches' revealed the fate of Macbeth, the

plan in which to gain power of the throne is brought up. The only way to

gain power of the throne was for Macbeth to work his way to the throne, or

to murder King Duncan. Murdering the king was an easier plan since the

motivation in his dreams urged him on. Lady Macbeth also relied on the

supernatural by her soliloquy of calling upon the evil spirits to give her

the power to plot the murder of Duncan without any remorse or conscience

(Act I, Scene V, ll.42-57). The three sisters are capable of leading

people into danger resulting in death, such as the sailor who never slept

(Act I, Scene III, ll.1-37).

Lady Macbeth has convinced her husband Macbeth to murder King Duncan.

On the night they planned to kill Duncan, Macbeth is waiting for Lady

Macbeth to ring the signal bell to go up the stairs to Duncan's chamber. He

sees the vision of the floating dagger. The interest of the dagger is that

it leads Macbeth towards the chamber by the presence of evil of the dagger

being covered with blood. Then the bell rings and Macbeth stealthily

proceeds up the staircase to Duncan's chamber.

Once the murder has been committed, eventually Banquo has his

suspicions about Macbeth killing Duncan to have power of the throne. There

is constantly more guilt and fear inside Macbeth and his wife that they

decide to have Banquo killed. Macbeth and his wife attend a banquet in

which a ghost appears. Once the murderer notified Macbeth that the deed

was done, he observed the ghost of Banquo sitting in his regular seat.

This caused Macbeth to act in a wild manner, making people suspicious of

his actions. (Act III, Scene VI, ll.31-120).

The use of the supernatural has increased the suspense now that

Macbeth is constantly relying on the prophecies of the three witches.

Hecate, the Queen of witches is angry with the three sisters for not

involving her in their encounters with Macbeth. The witches plan to lead

Macbeth to his downfall by making him feel over-confident. (Act III, Scene

V, ll.1-35).

Further on in the play, Macbeth finds his way to the witches' cave and

demands to know what lies ahead for him. The three witches predict what he

is going to ask and produce the first apparition which is an armed head.

'Macbeth!, Macbeth!, Macbeth!, beware of Macduff; beware thane of Fife.

Dismiss me: enough.' (Act VI, Scene I, ll.77-78). The first apparition

tells Macbeth to beware of Macduff. Then the second apparition appears (a

bloody child), and says: 'Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the

power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.' (Act IV, Scene I,

ll.85-87). This apparition informs Macbeth that no man born from a woman

can harm him. Finally, the last apparition appears and is a child crowned,

with a tree in his hand. The apparition is saying that he will never be

defeated until Great Birnam wood shall come against him to High Dunsinane

Hill. 'Be lion melted, proud, and take no care who chafes, who frets, or

where conspirers are: Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birnam

wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.' (Act VI, Scene I,

ll.98-102). These apparitions convinced Macbeth that this was his fate and

became over confident, and lead him to his death.

The use of the supernatural in Macbeth results quite well with the

respect of the unknown. Without the witches, the ghost, the visions, and

the apparitions, 'Macbeth' would have been a dull and tiresome play. Even

today's readers need motivation to read, and this ancient superstition of

spirits enhanced the play dramatically.