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In my essay I am going to be writing about the Supernatural aspects of “Macbeth”. I will be referring closely to Act 1 Scene 3, Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 4 Scene 1. In Shakespeare’s day people were obsessed with witchcraft. Shakespeare added supernatural elements to the play to grab the audience’s attention right from the beginning. This includes opening (Act 1 Scene 1) “Macbeth” with three witches, with immediately establishes the influence of the supernatural. They are discussing where they will meet Macbeth to tell him his future. In Act 1 Scene 3, the three witches are talking about the death of a sea captain, whilst waiting for Macbeth.
Macbeth arrives with Banquo, and each of the three witches has something different to tell Macbeth. The first witch says “All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! “, the second witch says “All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! ” , and the third witch says “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter! ” Macbeth is very confused and begins to question what the witches had said to him. Then, the three witches disappear. This would have caused a gasp in the audience in Shakespeare’s day because of the Supernatural phenomena.
This basically means that the witches can tell the future, and this scares the audience. In Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth, telling her of the witches’ predictions. She is a very ambitious woman and will make sure that the prediction will be fulfilled. When she hears that King Duncan is on the way to the castle, she calls upon the evil spirits to help her carry out the murder of King Duncan. She says; “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty!
Make thick my blood; stop up the access and passage to remorse”, when she says “unsex me here”, she is asking the spirits to take away her femininity because she wants to have the strength of a man. She also says “Stop up the access and passage to remorse” which means she is asking the spirits to take away the emotion “guilt” so that she cannot feel bad about what she has done or have doubts. A Shakespearean audience would find this part of the play very shocking because this was probably the part of The Supernatural that they knew least about. In Act 4, Scene 1 the witches are preparing a cauldron whilst waiting for the arrival of Macbeth.
Hecate (The head witch) comes to make sure that all is ready whilst the other witches seal the charm/spell. Macbeth then arrives commanding the witches to tell him what he wants to know. If you asked people in the modern day what a common thing for a witch to say is, they would most probably say “Double, double toil and trouble”. Shakespeare added this to the play because he knew that it would leave an effect on the audience. The witches show Macbeth four apparitions. The first apparition is a Helmeted Head, which warns Macbeth to be cautious of Macduff.
The Second apparition is a child covered in blood, which tells Macbeth that no man born from woman can harm him. The third apparition is a child crowned with a tree in his hand; this tells Macbeth that he is safe until Birnham Wood moves to Dunsinane. The fourth and last apparition, is a show of eight kings, the last with a glass in his hand; Banquo following. This shows Macbeth that Banquo’s descendants will be crowned king. This means that the witches were right because it comes true at the end of the play. On a modern stage, Macbeth would be shown with a lot of electrical sound effects, lighting, smoke machine ECT.
But in the Shakespearean day, there wasn’t anything like that so people would have to create their own sound effects, and have to wait until a certain time of day to set the scene. In conclusion, there are many supernatural aspects to “Macbeth”. This leaves the audience is left confused whether the Supernatural is real or not and have to make up their own minds. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.