William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" - An essay on the supernatural

Essay by nolimit1130High School, 11th gradeA+, October 2006

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Within William Shakespeare's classic masterpiece "Macbeth", the supernatural is distinctly developed by the hallucinations of the main characters, the drawn out pathetic fallacy that permeates the entire play and that dark and dangerous mystery that is the three witch sisters. Although there are many chaotic episodes throughout the play Macbeth, it is the supernatural that provokes the twisted mindset which cause the primary characters to commit selfish, tragic and overall ridiculous acts. Many of these acts are extremely out of character and are accompanied by an unusual occurrence. The fact that these acts are so out of character automatically has the audience questioning the character's motives. What causes them to behave so differently? It is the various unnatural events that take place around each horrible act.

These unusual things that seem to surround Macbeth and lady Macbeth have quite the effect on the two of them. They both start to hallucinate.

These hallucinations either cause them to behave differently and do horrific things, or are initiated by their previous actions. Near the beginning of the play Macbeth sees a dagger, this floating dagger leads him directly to King Duncan's chamber and ultimately causes him to kill Duncan. "Is this a dagger which I see before me" (II.i.40) Macbeth exclaims when he first sees the dagger in front of him. Macbeth was considering not killing Duncan, he paces and reflects on all the reasons he has not to. It is lady Macbeth that convinces him otherwise, but it was the final push from this phantom dagger that leads him towards his fate. "Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;/ And such an instrument I was to use" (II.i.49-50). This isn't the last of the hallucinations. Later, after Macbeth kills his dear friend Banquo, Macbeth sees his dead friend's...