Supernatural Power In Macbeth

Superior Essays
William Shakespeare, demonstrates multiple forms of power in the complex tragedy of the early 1600’s: Macbeth. The exploration of violence and hierarchical power (through the more rudimentary forms) is a reflection of the societal norms that existed under King James I. The famous British playwright was largely influential and wrote plays as a way of conveying his thoughts and ideas to the public. Shakespeare explores the following themes of power and their effect on the protagonist, Macbeth: supernatural power; verbal power; psychological power.

Seldom fail to notice one of the more predominant types of power in this play that is the supernatural; regarded a very controversial yet relatable choice focus considering the beliefs held by those
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The constant repetition of the lexeme “Hail” and their employment of trochaic tetrameter (“When shall we three meet again”) is one of the key resemblances of their discernable differences that are not just physical but are evident in their behaviour as well. Shakespeare chooses to make them communicate in a subhuman manner, reflecting the audience’s thoughts, in addition to the King’s as well. The repetition of the verbal modifier “Hail” implies the Witches’ own lack of understanding of standard English itself. This conveys the message that they are uneducated which is further asserted by the way they articulate sentences. This is associated with the Great Chain of Being in which witches were considered to be below all living beings including animals as well. This is evident in Act I Scene I; “Paddock calls” wherein the Witch is being summoned by her toad—it is seemingly above her. The hierarchical power is further emphasised by the condescending responses to the witches proclamations. In Act I Scene III, Macbeth commands “Stay you imperfect speakers”, which is an accentuation of his and Banquo’s impeccable iambic pentameter that is contrasted by the Witches’ childish trochaic tetrameter. This …show more content…
Elements of chiasmus and juxtaposition are hired to demonstrate the lack of knowledge that the public actually had about the supernatural: “Not so happy, yet much happier”. As if to degrade the Witches further, they are described physically as having beards, which add more to the theme of mystery about them suggesting they are androgynous. Along similar lines, in Act I Scene V Lady Macbeth commands to the spirits, “unsex me here”. Firstly, the actuality that she is addressing the spirits themselves implies a motif of the supernatural due to its superhuman connotations. Secondly, the reference to “unsex” herself conveys a message that she is androgynous and possibly a fourth witch. It is further evident in this scene when she speaks with a lack of iambic pentameter. On the other hand, this could be seen as her exposing the audience to her masculine side as, according to the societal norms (patriarchy), only men could conduct actions that required such high power. This is also evident towards the end of her monologue as she demands that the spirits “Come to my woman’s breasts,/And take my milk for

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