Supernatural in Macbeth

At Shakespeare’s time, witchcraft was considered to be a typical part of life and nature. Yet, origins of various supernatural powers and sorcery were connected with the devil. That’s why people believed that knowledge of the future that witches possess can bring nothing but sorrow. Indeed, supernatural occurrences in this play are the key elements that influence thoughts, decisions, and behavior of Macbeth and his wife. People at that time were frightened by the magic – at the same time, they had a morbid fascination to anything connected with it. Such an attitude made it easy for Shakespeare to intrigue and overwhelm the readers. The crucial supernatural occurrence around which the whole plot revolves is the appearance of three witches that worship goddess Hecate. With beards and an ability to come and go unnoticed, they provide a common view on the way witches usually look and behave. They make Macbeth three prophecies predicting that it’s his destiny to sit on the throne of Scotland. 

From the first sight, this prophecy doesn’t contain any encouragement to get rid of the present King. However, their words drag out the worst aspects of Macbeth personality, the evil hidden inside. Macbeth’s moral downfall begins after hearing the prophecy which completely changes his personality. Before that fateful meeting, the warrior has never done anything that goes against his honor and principals. At the same time, the further murders can’t be entirely blamed on the witches. All excuses aside, with a bit of persuasion from his wife, that was his personal decision to commit a murder. So this prophecy just reveals what has already been hiding deep inside his soul. The following supernatural occurrences demonstrate to what extent the couple suffers from the guilt that finally drives both of them insane. A flying dagger covered with blood is what pushes Macbeth to the edge. The dagger has a significant meaning – first, this is the weapon he is going to use to kill Duncan, plus this means that there is no turning back.

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Traditional Christian views concerning the afterlife are represented by supernatural. The spirit of murdered Banquo pays an unexpected visit during coronation banquet remaindering of Macbeth’s disgrace. It also illustrates a popular superstition that if a person that has died a violent death can rest in peace until the murderer is punished. Throughout the play, other supernatural signs manifest themselves giving a fuller picture of the wrongdoing. The most notable is the bizarre respond of nature to murderer’s sinful deeds. The morning after the murder, the sun doesn’t rise which is the sign of Apocalypse in Christianity. In this play, this is the moral decay of the new King. There is an accident with cannibalism when Macbeth’s horses try to eat each other. Shakespeare uses the weather to show the general attitude towards the horrifying prediction and its outcomes. When Macbeth meets three witches, thunder and lightning are seen in the sky creating the feeling of disaster. 

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