Macbeth And Supernatural Essay Research Paper In

Macbeth And Supernatural Essay, Research Paper

In Shakespeare?s Macbeth, specific scenes focus the readers? attention to

the suspense and involvement of the supernatural. The use of witches,

apparitions and ghosts are an important element in making the play interesting.

Examining certain scenes of the play, it can be determined that as supernatural

occurrences develop, Macbeth reflects a darker self-image. Macbeth experiences

his first strange encounter of the supernatural when he meets the three witches

in act one, scene one. After learning of his prophecies to become king, Macbeth

states, ?Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor: The greatest is behind (still to

come).? (1.3.117-118). Shakespeare uses foreshadowing, a literary technique,

to suggest to his readers the character Macbeth will suffer a personality

change. Macbeth also implies his first notions of plotting an evil scheme by

this comment. After the prophecies of the witches revealed the fate of Macbeth,

the quest of the throne will be his next victory. ?The witches reveal a fate

for Macbeth and imply that a part of what will come to him must come, but they

reveal no fate of evil-doing for him and never, even by suggestion, bind him to

evil doing. ?, states literary critic Willard Furnham. Furnham declares the

only power the witches obtain over Macbeth, is the power of insinuation. By

offering to Macbeth the idea of power, the witches push Macbeth to the next

level of greed and evil which was non-existent prior to the encounter. The

murder of King Duncan initiates Macbeth?s second encounter with the

supernatural when he witnesses a floating dagger. As Macbeth awaits the signal

to make his way up the stairs, he sees the floating dagger and proclaims, ?

Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, fatal vision, sensible (able to be

felt) to feeling as to sight, or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false

creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?? (2.2.33-38). This

apparition confuses and frightens Macbeth. He can not comprehend how he can see

something and not be able to touch it. ?Thou leads me the way I was going; and

such an instrument I was to use. And on thy blade and hilt, drops of blood which

was not so before. There?s no such thing. It is bloody business which takes

shape.? (2.2.43-49) Here, Macbeth begins to question whether his mind is

playing tricks on him. The situation seems quite coincidental considering he is

minutes from murdering a man with a similar weapon. He states the apparition is

due to the bloody business about to occur. The dagger symbolizes the point of no

return for Macbeth. If he chooses the path in which the dagger leads, there will

be no turning back. Macbeth fears Banquo for his prophecy is to father kings, so

Macbeth proceeds to plot the murder of his once friend, which spurs yet another

brush with the supernatural. Macbeth attends a banquet at which he witnesses the

ghost of his dead friend. (3.4.37-145) The fortunes of the three witches sparked

Macbeth?s desire to murder Banquo and caused him to dig himself into a deeper

hole. Macbeth?s guilt and fear combined drive him to darker and more evil

actions in an attempt to cover his past misdeeds. ?What man dare, I dare.

Approach though like the rugged Russian bear, the armed rhinoceros, or th?

Hyrcan tiger; Take any shape but that (Banquo) and my firm nerves shall never

tremble.? (3.4.100-104) Macbeth is terribly frightened by the bloody ghost

haunting him and is angered that the ghost revealed it self to him. His guilt

causes him to proclaim he could take on a rhino, tiger or any other wild animal,

but not Banquo?s ghost. After his encounter with the ghost, Macbeth proceeds

to visit the witches one last time to insure his security. After this last

visit, Macbeth becomes overconfident and a tyrant, which cause his downfall. The

use of supernatural in Macbeth, is a major factor in the suspenseful nature of

his work. Without the witches, apparitions and the ghost, Macbeth could not have

reached his downfall. The use of supernatural in Macbeth caused Macbeth to

become a darker and more evil person with each paranormal encounter.

Bibliography Farnham,Willard. "The Witches." 20th Century

Interpretations of Macbeth Ed. Terence Hawkes. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,

1982 p.61-62


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