21 December 2012
The Supernatural in Macbeth
The supernatural contributes significantly to the story in the thrilling play Macbeth, written by Shakespeare. The paranormal signs and powers show considerable overlap with insanity in the case of several characters throughout the play. The superhuman agents that appear or contacted in the play are used for evil purposes in almost all the cases, and are predominantly resulting in the death of a human being. First of all, the three witches are using supernatural powers throughout the play to achieve their baleful plan. In the beginning of the play, the three witches are murmuring incantations for perpetrating metaphysical communications escorted by the supernatural agents. The three witches are undoubtedly seeking evil powers while executing their spellings: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair. / Hover through the fog and filthy air.” (All the witches 1.1.10-11) Fair things are considered to be foul, and foul things to be fair by the witches as they are confessing their ultimate acceptance of evil. They also call the wickedness to hover in the dirty air, therefore they are asking the supernatural to act evil. The filthy air is most probably meaning an atmosphere which is contaminated with dirty or sinful things, such as a war or a murder scene. Secondly, Macbeth's dreadful visions and Lady Macbeth's eerie rituals, which both are predominantly in connection with supernormal agents, are showing a substantial overlap with
presumed insanity. The vision of the luminescent dagger invigorating Macbeth to murder Banquo is a fine example of a manifestation of a metaphysical apparition in the play concerning insanity overlapping with supernatural:
Is this a dagger which I see before me, The Handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch
thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feelings as to sight, or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation,...
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