Macbeth Supernatural Elements

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Throughout literature, the supernatural is often used as a means to frighten people into behaving appropriately. An audience would look to the human characters in search of humanity or redemption. However, paranormal aspects of a work of fiction can be helpful to determine what is and what is not considered to be a humane action. The supernatural elements in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth provide a contrast to and reveal the humanity of the mortal characters. There are three main concepts in the play that prove this. First, the witches’ behaviours towards the protagonist, Macbeth, emphasize the good in other characters. Second, the witches’ predictions and apparitions are catalysts to events that exhibit characters’ true intentions and feelings. …show more content…
This reveals his humane side to the audience. In the face of the supernatural, many characters have the potential to discover the humanity within themselves. Firstly, the witches’ behaviours towards the protagonist, Macbeth, emphasize the good in other characters. Often when one has power, he or she has two options; he or she can wield it with responsibility or use it with no motivation. The three witches of Macbeth are excellent examples of the latter. They seemingly have no reason to hurt Macbeth, however they decide to bring about his demise. This is in contrast to Malcolm and Macduff’s desire to use their influence to overthrow Macbeth for the good of Scotland. Macduff’s humanity is portrayed through his wish “...to bring [his] nation back to its former health” (Curtis 6). He and the witches share a common goal: to bring Macbeth down from power. However, the motivation behind their action is what highlights Macduff’s morality. Furthermore, Hecate, the queen of the witches, does not …show more content…
The way someone reacts to a situation provides deep insight into their character. For example, when the witches tell Banquo that he will be an ancestor to future kings, he continues to doubt the truth of their prophecies. Banquo believes that the witches will only bring “...[them] to [their] harm…” (I.iii.135). He realizes that the witches’ intentions are not morally correct; therefore, he decides to trust his own judgement instead. Lady Macbeth is another character who experiences trust issues after hearing of the witches’ predictions. When she receives Macbeth’s letter concerning these strange events, her first instinct is to fear for her husband and his strength. Lady Macbeth worries that Macbeth is “...ill prepared for committing murder” (De Sousa 19) while contemplating whether or not to kill Duncan. This woman simply wants the best for her husband; he is the man who considers her to be his “...dearest partner of greatness…” (Shakespeare I.v.11). There is a deep love between these two; therefore, they encourage the other to reach his or her full potential. Furthermore, the witches’ magic does in fact comfort Macbeth. In the midst of his panic over possibly losing his throne, the witches create three apparitions. This plan, fabricated by Hecate, is to lure Macbeth into a false sense of security. This objective is achieved, as Macbeth

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