In Shakespeare's "Macbeth" supernatural forces create a suspenseful atmosphere. The use of the supernatural in the witches, the visions, the ghost and the apparitions provides the backbone of the climax and "excuses" for Macbeth's change of character. Because conscience plays such a central role in Macbeth's tragic struggle, many critics use spiritual and supernatural theories to illuminate the drama's character development.
The play opens with the use of the supernatural when three witches encounter Macbeth on his way home from a battle and proceed to predict his fate. This gives the audience a glimpse of the path the play will follow. The witches plan to meet again, "When the battles (battle is) lost and won
" (I. I. 1-4). This theme becomes recurring throughout the play. It can be noted that the witches meet after every battle is lost and won, and every battle, whether man against man, man against nature or man against himself it will always be lost by one side and won by another. Eventually Macbeth will lose the battle for his soul. Literary critic, Charles Lamb quotes, "When we read the incannot ations of the Witches in Macbeth, though some of the ingredients of their hellish composition savour of the grotesque, yet is the effect upon us other than the most serious and appalling that can be imagined? Do we not feel spell-bound as Macbeth was?" (Lamb). After the witches reveal the fate of Macbeth becoming king, he begins to develop an immoral plan to carry out the prophecy. The only way for Macbeth to have the throne will be to wait or to kill King Duncan. Macbeth already knew of his future as king due to the witches' forecast of his future, so how he went about getting there did not concern Macbeth. Had the three sisters not confronted Macbeth with the news of his possible future would he have thought of a deviant plan to murder King Duncan, and better yet, would he have had a future as a king at all? Another critic of Shakespearean Literature believes...
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