Sunday, September 29, 2019

Macbeth †The Supernatural Essay

The term supernatural in the dictionary is described as ‘a phenomena that cannot be explained by the laws of nature of physics’. The term supernatural today can be connected with a lot of subjects; ghosts, poltergeist, mediums, physics and many more. In my own definitions supernatural means something that cannot be explained. The term supernatural in the 21st century has become more popular with the media about ghosts, psychics and making contact with the dead. Generally people are categorised today as believers and non-believers, the supernatural is an issue, which divides people. However in the time where James I was king almost everyone believed in the supernatural and this is why the issue of the supernatural was of an importance to contempory audiences. The majority of people that believed in the supernatural in Jacobean times were also frightened of it. People believed ion a metaphysical world, which is a spiritual world. The reason they were frightened was they believed evil, as well as good, was all around. An evil spirit could affect your body or your mind/spirit as they were different things and a person would have no control over himself or herself if an evil spirit took over. An example, of what they believed when spirits took over, is how healthy they were. If they were well they believed good spirits ruled over and if they were ill the evil spirits ruled. Witchcraft was also considered evil and in 1605 a law was passed which meant if you had anything to do with witchcraft you were killed. Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth with the subject of the supernatural to be at the centre point of everything that happened. Its importance is high and it affects the audience, the characters and the plot in different ways. The first scene of the play opens with the ‘weird sisters’. The witches open the scene to introduce the audience to the play and show the main theme is evil and the supernatural, this gives the audience a good idea of what to expect. The scene itself, for the audience, is also set it is on the moor and the audience would have recognised and associated this setting with bleakness and a place where dark spirits are. This scene also sets up the plot with the supernatural being present. Dramatic effects are used from the start of this scene which interest the audience, the witches use incantations to suggest control and power: â€Å"When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightening, or in rain?† The witches have control over the weather, the rhyme also sounds like spells, which supports the supernatural effect on the scene. The conversation between he witches is also started mid scene which adds to the dramatic effect of the scene: â€Å"Hover through the fog and filthy air† Is another quote which suggests the witches have the ability to fly but they are not clearly seen, this is hint that the witches my not seem to be all they are through the play. â€Å"That will be ere the set of the sun† The third witch also predicts the battle will be over before the sun sets, another point which shows they have the power to accurately predict events. Language in the first scene gives both history and themes of the play: â€Å"When the hurly-burly’s done When the battle’s lost and won.† The word hurly-burly is to suggest the Scotland civil war and suggests the battle of good and evil is lost and won. This is interesting for the audience as it adds to the historical content and keeps the audience interested in the play. The battle may also be seen from another point of view however, the battle for Macbeth’s soul. â€Å"Fair is foul, and foul is fair† This quote also suggests when the battle is finished it is good for 1 but bad for 1. It also suggest things are not always what they seen to be which gives the theme of ambiguity of reality and humanity for the play. Rhyming couplets are also used; this gives the sound of an incantation. In this scene the witches are planning to meet Macbeth: â€Å"There to meet with Macbeth.† As mentioned before they talk about the battle between good and evil and they seem to be predicting what will happen, however, you could think the witches are purposely putting the evil events in motion. This is a factor, which has to be taken into consideration when interpreting their characters. Their characters are also a symbolism of fate. In Act 1 Scene 3 the Witches meet Macbeth for the first time, they are important in this scene to do three things. The witches entertain the audience using their powers: â€Å"I’ll give thee a wind,† This, along with Act 1 Scene 1, again suggests the witches can control the weather. The witches also talk of a sailor’s wife who refused to give her chestnuts and she will get revenge on the woman by victimizing her husband and delaying his arrival home: â€Å"Here I have a pilot’s thumb, Wreck’d as homeward he did come.†

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