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Summary: We can conclude that there are five important eventsshowing the supernatural elements in Macbeth. Namely, the witches, the air-drawn dagger, the unnatural happenings, the ghost of Banquo and the apparitions.
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner dictionary, 'supernatural' refers to things that cannot be explained by natural or physical laws. The presence of supernatural forces in "Macbeth," provides for much of the play's dramatic tension and the mounting suspense. In this paper we shall look at some of supernatural elements in the play. We'll first talk about the witches. Thunder occurs every time whenthe witches show up. In Act I sence i, it indicates the theme of discorder. When the witches enter, there is stormy weather. The storm attends the three witches when they are gather to express their exploits. They cast a spell that they are going to meet Macbeth. "There to meet with Macbeth." Also, thunder occurs at Act I scene iii, Act III scene iv and Act IV secne i. In Act I secne iii, the appearance of the witches is supernatural. " You should be woman. And yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so." Witches shows us what their unnatural looks are like. They amaze Banquo when he first sees them. He wonders about their appearance. Banquo's description of the witchesis important in seeing how unnatural they are. Their facial hair questions the definition ofGender who look like should be human. But in them the human form is unnaturally distorted. The witches are not existing in nature and we cannot explain them according to natural laws in our world. Also in Act I secne iii, The main plot line of the play is established when the three witches make their first appearance with Macbeth and Banquo. They are objective that both Macbeth and Banquo can see the witches and even talk with them. It reveals that the witches are real instead of being a product of the imagination of Macbeth. The witches have supernatural power is not difficult to find in Macbeth. The use of the supernatural occurs at the beginning ofthe play, with three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. In Act I scene i, nature is out of order. "Fair is foul and foul is fair." According to the witches, it means good is bad and bad is good. It indicates that the witches are violating God's natural order because it is against our normal understanding of the words. The witchesare evil in stead of being friends of humans. This gives the audience a clue to what the future holds for Macbeth. "When the battle's lost and won" (also in Act I scene i) 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. However, he will lose his time of victory for the battle of his soul. Another example is strong enough to indicate that the witcheshave supernatural power. In Act I scene iii, when the first witch mentions she is refused by the sailor's wife, she is so angry that she wants to take revenge. "I myself have all the other (winds),
The witches spells are particularly nauseating in the level of detail with where they are depicted. The witches plan to lead Macbeth to his downfall by making him feel over-confident. Macbeth tries to grasp the weapon but fails. I will drain him dry as hay: Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his pent-house lid: He shall live a man forbid: Weary se'nnights nine times nine Shall he dwindle. the witches predict that Macbeth will be the king of Soctland. and stays for me. In Act IV scene i. to feeling as to sight. All theirpredictions come true at the end of the play. Theirpredictions cause a shift in Macbeth's behavior and sthengthens his ambition to take the throne by murdering Duncan. They have the supernatural power to control the world. Human beings could just follow nature. Macbeth finds his way to the witches' cave and demands to know what lies ahead for him and ask for their help. Also they always vanish as abruptly as they come. The revenge stirs up the witches to enforce their power over nature that is to send the sailor to the sea. It seems that the witches are unnatural. As in Act I scene iii. They call on the apparitions to speak to Macbeth.And the very ports they blow. Hecate is the queen of the witches who is angry with the three sisters for not involving her in their encounters with Macbeth. The handle of the dagger was pointing toward his hand and its tip aiming toward Duncan's room. peak and pine."What they act are supernatural instead of human. All the quarters that they know I'm the shipman's card. It is powerful enough to prove the supernatural presence in the play.37-39). The supernatural atmosphere is charged with evil. He wonders whether what he sees is real or a "dagger of the mind. he imagines that the dagger is leading him towards Duncan's room and on the other he awaits the bell to be rung by his wife. " Sits in a foggy cloud. The bell was a signal of her completion of the preparation for Duncan's . it is created by fatal vision. On the night of Duncan's murder. On one hand." The punishment of the witches of human beings indicates that they have the supernatural power to control nature. we shall take a look at the air-drawn dagger. It leaves a strong influence of changing the personality of Macbeth who used to be loyal to his King. Duncan. the witches and Hecate reappear. In Act III scene v. Macbeth is left alone by Banquo. Lady Macbeth.i. and then all of a sudden he has a vision of a dagger floating in the air before him. false creation or proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain" (II. Further on in the play. Then. after Banquo and Macbeth discuss the witches' prophecies. It comes to the case that the witches are above the nature that they could manipulate it to achieve what they want.
We can expose that Macbeth has a strong imagination. he killed Duncan under the extreme tension. Besides. The air-dagger is a kind of optical illusion and is well known that is created under his feverish condition which isn't directly stimulated by the optic nerve. which focuses on a point in space of emptiness but which is visible to the audience. The vision of evil and disorder horrifies Macbeth but does not stop him from his course of murdering Duncan. Macbeth's murder can be seen as an unnatural deed which brings numerous unnatural troubles. This is relevant to the overall theme of appearance and reality. basically. The supernatural of the air-dagger shows the terrible effects that ambition and guilt can have on a man who lacks strength of character. his internal conflict is pushed to the highest point. Moreover. This scene shows that Macbeth is developed as a tragic hero. the unnatural happenings are also one of the supernatural elements in Macbeth. but when he is imagining a floating dagger. The air-drawn dagger is created by Macbeth's internal conflict. As a result of Macbeth internal conflict. Throughout Act II. leads to destruction. He cannot distinguish between the two. As what the doctor in Act V scene i said. and Duncan's horses eat each other. we can see the disruption of the natural world as a result of the corrupting nature of Macbeth's ambition. Previously." The murder that Macbeth is committing which leaps over Duncan is in fact going . there is a fissure between appearance and reality as Macbeth imagines that he sees a dagger floating in the air in front of him. the owls kill the falcons. he asks himself is the dagger there or not? Is it a physical representation of his guilt about his murderous intentions toward Duncan? It implied that he has self-doubts because of his evil desire. The reason for the air-dagger in the play is to develop tension and a dangerous atmosphere. Once the air-dagger appears. This line is in fact closely linked to the theme of supernatural happenings in the play. Macbeth cannot decide whether to commit a murder or not."It was the owl that shrieked. The owl screams and the crickets cry. All these unnatural happenings are showing that the natural order is destroyed. The invisible dagger is created by Macbeth. Macbeth's weak and indecisive personality is reinforced by the illusion of the dagger. a shift has occurred and Macbeth is the victim of disparity between illusion and reality. which in turn." This line echoes back to the previous line made by Lady Macbeth in the same scene -. Macbeth has not yet decided up until the very night of the murder about whether or not he should kill Duncan. 'Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles'. Macbeth was responsible for creating the disparity between illusion and reality: he put on a "false face" to hide his ambitions when Banquo mentions the witches. he can be a good man without the witches' prophecies and Lady Macbeth's support.death. In consequence. the sun is obscured. Lady Macbeth says that she "heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. Lady Macbeth waits anxiously for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan. Macbeth's ambition takes control of his mind. Now. In Act II scene ii. which gives the stern'st goodnight. The dagger drives Macbeth's ambition over his mind and exits to kill Duncan in the next scene. When Macbeth enters the scene. his ambition and guilt of killing Duncan. The atmosphere created is based on the attraction of evil and the power of darkness. the fatal bellman. Macbeth is described as an evil man in the play.
Lennox tells that "the night has been unruly". it symbolizes evil doings. who is a lawful king. and were said to have eaten each other. are seen turning wild in nature. and they all take place at night. but on this occasion it hunted something far more powerful even than itself. is killed by Macbeth. because the legitimate king is being killed. . can be seen as the animal world's protest to the unnaturalness of the murder. according to superstition. the wild and omen-filled night conveys a sense of insecurity to the audience. as they broke their stalls. Duncan's horses. again. The owl usually hunts mice. a falcon was killed by an owl. the animal's unnatural behaviors and the dark sky prepare audience to feel insecure for Duncan. While Duncan and the people around him are still ignorant about the planned murder and his own death. which belong to a good breed. whose rank was well below this. which again echoes back to the line "unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles. Somebody with a lower ranking than Duncan is taking his place. Besides. Bizarre events occur the night Duncan was murdered. the owl is like a fatal bellman because. It explains how Macbeth killed the defenseless Duncan. These unnatural events of the disordered food chain mirror the things taking place in the castle. Ross and the old man." In Act II Scene iv there are a lot of comments on the confusion on the night of the murder. This. This is suggesting that the food chain has been unnaturally turned around. There is a sense of fear. and how it was an unnatural thing to occur. So when the owls screamed and the crickets cried. Ross and an Old Man talk exchange accounts of the disturbed night and the recent unnatural happenings that mirror Duncan's murder. as Duncan. the falcon represents Duncan. It is ironic that Lennox says these things about the weather right before the murder is discovered. while the people around Duncan cannot. The ill winds are like God being upset with the situation with the murder of the rightful king. and when this happens. as a small mousing owl was reported killing a larger falcon. By that time it is probably morning but the darkness of the night may have loomed into the morning hours." The weather seemed to change while the murder of Duncan takes place. These unnatural events told in Act II are all objective as they are witnessed by a number of people like Lennox. houses and chimneys are being destroyed by fierce winds. Also. and the owl represents Macbeth. An atmosphere of death is symbolized by the darkness. and everything is filled with "dire combustion. which is a symbolic reference to the evil doings of men.against the rules of nature. the murder is also of an unnatural nature. and mystery created. The audience can easily consider the two events to be connected. In the same way. It seems that the night has become more powerful than the day which suggests that the heavens can see what men are doing on earth and it darkens in the morning because it is ashamed to look on the deed that has been committed. whose normal prey is a mouse. animals erupt. In this reference. nature is troubled when Macbeth performs his bloody acts. In Act II Scene iii. It seems that the owl can see the deed. the owls represent death. Here. Also.
making a speech praising Banquo. Banquo filling Macbeth's place means his offspring will be future kings. Lady Macbeth. we can see that Lady Macbeth raises the question of masculinity by associating her husband's reaction to the ghost. but also to the natural world. Banquo's son. Macbeth's challenge to the ghost "What man I dare. the ghost of Banquo is also against the order of nature. Macbeth talks to her that he confides that Macduff seems to be standing against him. the animals and the heavens are feeling so uneasy about it that they can't behave naturally.. I dare" echoes an earlier line in the play. This also reflects that Lady Macbeth has had to use all her resources and wit to contain the potential damage of exposure to remain on her throne. Once more he attempts good cheer and invokes the name of Banquo. As he stands up. by her quick thinking. The ghost disappears and Macbeth regains his composure.Also. He reveals that he has spies everywhere. Then the ghost reappears and Macbeth loses his nerve altogether. "I dare do all that may become a man. Alone with his wife. Macbeth's question. When Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost. escaped. This news disturbs him. This reinforces the idea that Macbeth is an unnatural and unholy monarch who. This scene indicates to the audience that anything which goes against the natural order of things can be associated with disasters. "Are you a man?" to Macbeth's lines that end with "Than such a murder is". brings enormous troubles not only to the country. just like having darkness during the daytime and the horses attacking each other. According to hierarchy. "Which of you have done this?" implies that he thinks that what he sees is real. The first murderer appears and Macbeth steps aside to speak with him. Only Macbeth can see the ghost and he is terrified. Therefore it is talking about Macbeth's manhood. covers up the real case of murdering when Macbeth is beginning to reveal his guilt." Both of these lines come in response to threats to his masculinity. From Lady Macbeth's question to her husband. . and that he intends to revisit the witches. he reveals that he is suffering from his guilt by his internal conflict. indicating Macbeth's sensitivity to threats and implications that he is not a 'man'. we can have a glimpse of Duncan's character from these unnatural happenings. but no one else sees the ghost. In Act III scene iv. He returns to the feast and is gently blamed by his wife for his absence. Banquo should choose his seat according to his rank. then Banquo's ghost appears and takes Macbeth's chair. The murder tells him that Banquo is dead. The ghost's choice of seats is symbolic. The misbehaviors of the animals and nature also suggests that Duncan is such a good king that when he dies. He recovers himself when the ghost disappears again. Macbeth welcomes various guests to his banquet. The ghost of Banquo enters the scene and sits in Macbeth's seat. Next. but Fleance. however it is too late to enable the banquet to continue. Lady Macbeth heads off a question from Ross and dismisses everyone. The ghost of Banquo appears to be subjective because only Macbeth sees it. after becoming a king.
The final apparition is a procession of eight kings and the last one of them is holding a mirror. The first apparition that Macbeth sees is an "armed Head. Hecate. The apparitions warn Macbeth to "beware of Macduff." We can see that Macbeth believes the prophecies but he also thinks that he can change or ignore them to suit his ambitious. Because they tell Macbeth about the future which seriously influence his judgments afterwards. It shows an extreme revelation that he has already committed too many crimes. They are the offspring of Banquo and are the kings in the future. "The power of man. It will get easier as he continues. the apparitions are called out to speak to Macbeth. Macbeth claims that his only choice is to continue his violence and his tyranny. In Act IV scene i. It also points to the dramatic irony that Macbeth himself is a prophet "Macbeth shall sleep no more. The mention of sleep reinforces Macbeth's guilt. Lastly. Then. It confirms the earlier prophecy that the witches gave Banquo in act one." This confirms Macbeth's fear that Macduff will be his downfall. the apparitions are also one of the supernatural elements in Macbeth. They also act as an introduction to the remaining part of the story. The third apparition is a child with a crown who holds a tree. ." The head is wearing a helmet. he demands to know whether his descendants or Banquo's descendants will rule Scotland in future. The second apparition is a bloody child. It says that Macbeth shall never be vanquished until Great Birnam Wood physically moves to high Dunsinane hill. The thundering in the scene which accompanies the appearance of each apparition reinforces the atmosphere of unnaturalness." The scene ends on the question of reality versus illusion as Macbeth tries to convince himself that Banquo's ghost was just an illusion. Later." He feels that he has no reason to fear Macduff. But then he changes his mind quickly and he says he will have to "make assurance double sure. It symbolizes the prophecies that Macbeth will be killed. He wishes to accept the favorable predictions and reject what is awkward for him. Macbeth consoles himself with the notion that he is only a beginner in evil. for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth. which symbolizes young Malcolm coming to Dunsinane. apparitions appear to tell Macbeth's future reality. Macbeth then chooses to hear the prophecy from the witches' master. The witches told Macbeth not to speak because his thoughts and questions will be known. They play an important role in the story. It symbolizes Macduff and tells Macbeth that no man of woman can hurt Macbeth. Therefore the suppression of guilt feelings led to psychological illness. Macbeth goes to see the witches in a cave and asks them the answer to his fearful questions.The dramatic tension in this scene is exploited by the way that Macbeth in fact reveals his guilt. This statement makes Macbeth overconfident and more convinced that he will not be killed by any one as he thinks it is impossible that the forest can move. At the end of the scene.
We can conclude that there are 5 important events showing the supernatural elements in Macbeth. Macbeth is not sure to trust the apparitions or not although the second apparition claims that Macduff cannot hurt him. the air-drawn dagger. ." A moving forest means Malcolm's army is coming to Dunsinane by leafy camouflage. we know that a man who is not born from woman means Macduff was born from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd. the statements made by the apparitions are true in a certain perspective. Macbeth cannot interpret the underlying meaning accurately. which finally push him to death at the end. the ghost of Banquo and the apparitions. Obviously. Macbeth orders the murder of Macduff and his family in order to eliminate the threat of Macduff. Therefore.Actually. They speak truthfully but their words are carefully chosen. Namely. he takes comfort in the seeming impossibility of these situations. As Macbeth cannot imagine a man who is not born of woman and a forest that can move. The prophetic information that Macbeth got from the apparitions lead to his actions in the play later. the witches. He decided to do something before considering the consequences of his actions. The apparitions has the supernatural power that they can predict the future of Macbeth and they come true at the end of the play. Later. they are supernatural elements. the unnatural happenings.
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