Macbeth Essay: Influence of the Supernatural Throughout the Shakespearean play, Macbeth, the supernatural plays a part in all the events in the play. The witches, the floating dagger, and the prophetic apparitions are all examples of the supernatural intertwining with the play. From the murder of King Duncan to Macbeth’s eventual death, the supernatural played a part in most of Macbeth’s actions. The presence of the witches is the first supernatural element that Macbeth meets. One would assume that the witches could be blamed for influencing Macbeth with their prophecies. The witches are able to make Macbeth acknowledge his own dark desires. In Act I, Scene III, the three witches call out one after the other claiming “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to you, Thane of Glamis! / All hail, Macbeth! Hail to you, Thane of Cawdor! / All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be …show more content…
As such, Macbeth is once again influenced by what the witches call upon. Three apparitions appear before Macbeth. The first apparition is his own severed head, confirming his fears about Macduff. In Act IV, Scene I, the apparitions say these words “Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff, Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.” (1329) This prophecy tells Macbeth that Macduff’s intentions toward him are not good. The second apparition lures Macbeth into a false sense of security as it tells him that he cannot be harmed by anyone one born of a woman. It says “Be bloody, bold and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (1329) Macbeth cannot imagine how a man could not be born of a woman and feels invincible. This also references MacDuff who was born by caesarian section instead of a natural birth. The final apparition is a child with a crown, which once again gives Macbeth a false sense of security as it states he will not fall until a battle of Birnam Woods. The apparition
As Macbeth asked for more information from the witches, in their second encounter, he is flustered with riddled sentences that comfort him and give him a false sense of security. The apparitions that the witches summon each give Macbeth a piece of information that changes the way he thinks about his throne. One of the apparitions tells Macbeth that “none of woman born shall harm [him]” (4.1.102). The other apparition tells him that “[He] shall never be vanquished until Great Birnam Wood to Dunsinane Hill shall come against him” (4.1.115). With these prophecies Macbeth begins to think that none will be able to harm him and that he is for the most part invincible.
The witches’ apparitions ended up tricking Macbeth, as they turned against him. It is true that Macbeth should beware Macduff, but that is where the truth ends. It turned out that Macduff was born from a C-section as his mother died at birth, so Macduff was actually a man who wasn’t born from a woman. Also, Macduff and his troops used limbs of trees from the forest to disguise themselves when they were going to attack Macbeth, so the forest technically did move to Macbeth’s castle. The three apparitions from the witches duped Macbeth, as he was not actually out of harm’s way, which led to his ultimate downfall and
The Second adds "The pow'r of man, for none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth"(IV.i.80-81), The Third states "Macbeth shall never vanquished be until/Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill/Shall come against him"(IV.i.92-94). Macbeth hears what the apparitions say, and this makes Macbeth feel fearless, which leads him to the ultimate tragic decision that leads to his death. " The castle of Macduff I will surprise,/Seize upon Fife, give to the edge o' the sword/ His wifes, his babes, and all unfortunate souls"(IV.i.150-153).
So were his sinister actions following in the story really case by the supernatural or were they simply and amplified version of the old Macbeth? After meeting the three wits on the outside of town, Macbeth was instantly sucked into their words, “Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.” (Act 1, scene 3, line 71) Perhaps Lady Macbeth played a role in her husband’s folly, for upon reading
Macbeth hallucinates a vision of a bloody dagger pointing him in the direction of the king, and interprets it as a sign to go through with the murder; however, he goes back on his word a moment later, doubting its significance: “Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible / To feeling as to sight? or art thou but / A dagger of the mind, a false creation, / Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” (Shakespeare II.
The moment of truth becomes apparent in act 5 when Macduff has his army ready to go towards the king’s castle and the messenger cries to Macbeth “I looked toward Birnam, and soon, I thought, the wood began to move”(Shakespeare 227). The movement of the sticks that Macduff’s army was taking was the first sign of Macbeth’s peripatetic. Also later finding out that the wood of Birnam has made it to his castle, Macbeth has found out from the second apparition that Macduff was not in fact born of woman he was ripped out of woman. Macbeth at this point is certain of his fate, without believing it, he believed that all the fortunes was half-truths which turned out to be the complete truth. His fortune has abruptly turned for the worst on Macbeth.
Finally, the vision of a bloody dagger that emerged right before the murder emboldened Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Prior to murdering Duncan, Macbeth was hesitant about following through with his wife 's merciless task. He doubted that he was able to murder one of his most loyal friends, until he saw the vision. On page 43, Act II, scene I, Macbeth sees the apparition: "Is this a dagger that I see before me with its handle turned to my hand?" Macbeth contemplates whether it is a figure of his imagination prompted on by his already guilty conscience, or a supernatural encounter that is compelling him to do the deed.
After hearing their message Macbeth decides he is going to kill Macduff in order to make sure that fate keeps its promise and does not change. It may have just promised that no man of woman born can harm Macbeth, but it has also told him to beware Macduff, and he's afraid that fate is fooling with him. By this point, he has become a crazed individual so consumed with his feeling of hopelessness that he also decides to murder Macduff's innocent wife and child. These are the deeds of a man with no passion. Yet he still does not fully understand why he feels this
When Macbeth is told by the first vision that he needs to beware of Macduff, his fears are confirmed that Macduff is a threat. When Macbeth is told this, he decides to kill Macduff’s family (Mac IV.i.71-74). Just like the witches, the apparition does not force Macbeth to act upon what he has been told, but still steers Macbeth towards violent
The first one gives Macbeth the idea that no one except Macduff can harm him, and he believes he can get rid of him easily. The second apparation states that anyone born of a woman cannot harm him, and Macbeth believes that all men are born from women. Lastly, the third prophecy is that Macbeth will not be defeated until the Great
Supernatural elements can be seen in Macbeth through the witches and their unusual powers. The witches appear to be helpful in giving Macbeth his prophecy, but in reality want only to stir up trouble and cause strife throughout the kingdom. Although Macbeth wants the witches to tell him his prophecy, he is also afraid to act on these newly found predictions for fear of the inevitable guilt he will then have to face. Macbeth states that the witches as "Instruments of darkness" in order to explain to readers that even though the witches appear to be helping Macbeth, in reality they are causing more harm than good and creating evil thoughts within the characters minds. Macbeth’s prophecy began his desire for power, which led to his struggle with guilt.
For Macbeth’s desire to know more about his future, the Second Apparition says: “Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn / The power of man, for none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth… Then Macbeth responds, “Then live, Macduff. What need I fear of thee? / But yet I’ll make assurance double sure, / And take a bond of fate.
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth! Thou shalt be king hereafter!
The Witches play a crucial role in the development of the narrative; their actions contribute greatly to the downwards spiral of Macbeth’s life and sanity, and the murder of King Duncan. Their introduction to the play establishes a supernatural element that is consistent throughout the play, allowing for further exploration of ideas such as the destruction of oneself as a result of being overambitious. Shakespeare creates a stormy, bleak, and ominous atmosphere when the Witches are first introduced, successfully associating them with a negative atmosphere. It is through their prophecies that Macbeth’s lust for the throne is encouraged, consequently leading him to his own demise and destruction of Scotland. The