Ghosts? Evil witches? Floating daggers? Good afternoon fellow classmates, I’m here to talk to you about the supernatural elements in the play Macbeth. This is the integral part of the structure of the plot. It provides a catalyst for action, an insight into character, and augments the impact of many key scenes. The supernatural appears to the audience in many varied forms – not only does a ghost appear but also a floating dagger, witches, and prophetic apparitions make appearances. In Shakespeare’s day and age, there was a lot of controversy about the supernatural. He was not the only one who believed in the supernatural very strongly, in fact a majority of people were frightened of it, including the king of that time.
Now back to the play. The witches were a symbol of evil, and Shakespeare uses this fear of the devil to give his plays an additional eerie atmosphere and haunting effect. They intrigue the audience to see if they are correct in their prophecies. The witches are the voice of unnaturalness and disorder. Lady Macbeth is strongly influenced by their powers and names the witches as the “metaphysical aid”, who promise so much to her husband. It is Macbeth who needs the witches to tell him what is in his own mind, but is too afraid to acknowledge, as he refers to them as “instruments of darkness”.
Another form of the supernatural is the air-drawn dagger which leads Macbeth to his victim. When the dagger appears to him, Macbeth finally becomes victim to the delusions his brain. The dagger points to Duncan’s room and appears to be covered in blood. 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 us what Macbeth is about to do is evil. Shakespeare uses the supernatural to guide us so that we may see what evil is.
We begin to notice, as we read through the play, that supernatural is used in all places where evil is present. Even if we decide...
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