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What Part Does the Supernatural Play in Macbeth?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mankindben
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What part does the supernatural play in Macbeth?

The word supernatural is defined as ‘Not being able to be explained by the laws of nature’. The majority of us would link the word supernatural to ghosts and paranormal activities, which these days can be proved by using complex technology. However if we look back at Shakespeare’s era in around 1606 the majority of the people there completely believed in the supernatural. Their main belief was that witches existed and had great power to change what ever they wanted. It was believed so much in this time that even King James believed that these supernatural beings existed. Although nowadays it is completely the opposite, most of us believe that these supernatural beings are just mythological. The play Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare during the time that probably he himself and the rest of the population believed in the supernatural, it includes several supernatural events and the general atmosphere is a sinister one.

The very first part of the play Macbeth includes three witches other wise described by Shakespeare as the weird sisters. These three witches plan to meet Macbeth upon a heath in the storm which is surrounding them. The effect of this automatically gives the reader the feeling that the play is a sinister one. The witches communicate to each other by speaking in riddles, such as “Fair is foul and foul is fair”. We learn two things from this first part of speech from the witches, firstly we can see that they speak in riddles, and secondly it reveals that in the witches world bad is good and good is evil. Macbeth and his loyal friend Banquo arrive upon the heath, in thunder, rain and lightning. They come across the witches and Macbeths first words about them are “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” This links Macbeth directly to the witches; the words “Foul and fair” are used by both...

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