to determine the course of action in the playWhat use of the supernatural does Shakespeare make to determine the course of action in the play?To understand the involvement of the supernatural in Macbeth we must understand the circumstances in which the play was written in 1606 When Queen Elizabeth I was on her deathbed Shakespeare wrote Macbeth he did this for two reasons. Firstly the newly appointed king to be (James I) was very superstitious and had actually written a book about witchcraft, Secondly at the time people were very suspicious and believed in witch craft a lot and therefore it would not have sounded out of place to say that witches could influence the death of kings, thirdly King James I was actually a descendent of Banquo, except that in real life Banquo had actually killed king Duncan, but this would have not pleased James I and so in Shakespeare’s version of Macbeth, Banquo is innocent so that Shakespeare could get on the good side of the king. In the play “Macbeth”, there were many interesting sections, which could be concentrated on due to the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. The use of the supernatural in the witches, the visions, the ghost, and the apparitions is a key element in making the concept of the play work and in making the play interesting. Looking through each Act and Scene of the play, it is noticed that the supernatural is definitely a major factor on the play’s style.
The use of the supernatural occurs at the beginning of the play, with three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. This gives the audience a clue to what the future holds for Macbeth. “When the battles lost and won” (Act I, Scene I, l. 4) Was said by the second witch. It says that every battle is lost by one side and won by another.
Macbeth’s fate is that he will win the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle ofhis soul. After the prophecies of the witches’ revealed the fate of Macbeth, the plan in which to gain power of the throne is brought up. MACBETHSpeak, if you can: what are you?First WitchAll hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!Second WitchAll hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!Third WitchAll hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!BANQUOGood sir, why do you start; and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair? I’ the name of truth, Are ye fantastical, or that indeed which outwardly ye show? My noble partner you greet with present grace and great prediction of noble having and of royal hope, that he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favours nor your hate.
First WitchHail!Second WitchHail!Third WitchHail!First WitchLesser than Macbeth, and greater. Second WitchNot so happy, yet much happier. Third WitchThou shalt get kings, though thou be none:So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!First WitchBanquo and Macbeth, all hail!(Act 1, Scene 3, ll48-65)The only way to gain power of the throne was for Macbeth to work his way to the throne, or to murder King Duncan. Murdering the king was an easier plans since the motivation in his dreams urged him on. Lady Macbeth also relied on the supernatural by her soliloquy of calling upon the evil spirits to give her the power to plot the malefic murder of Duncan without any remorse or conscience.
“Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between th’ effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, wherever in your sightless substances you wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, to cry, Hold, hold!’Enter MacbethGreat Glamis! Worthy Cawdor! Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter! Thy