The Supernatural In Macbeth

Great Essays
“Double, double toil and trouble” (Shakespeare 4.1.20)—one of the most iconic lines sneered by the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, symbolizes a common motif found in English literature: the supernatural. Authors commonly exploit the supernatural in their plot development by way of ensuing action. The supernatural is something “belonging to a realm or system that transcends nature, as that of divine, magical, or ghostly being,” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary. William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte and Jean Rhys utilize the supernatural in their works, Macbeth, Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea, respectively. No matter the gain or loss of power, the supernatural induces people to reach a brink of madness.
The supernatural
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First, in his play Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses the supernatural to reverse the gender roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. After reading the letter sent by her husband, Lady Macbeth fears that he is full of too much kindness and that his lack of ambition will paralyze him so that he cannot become King. Thus, she calls on the spirits to “unsex [her] here, / And fill [her] from the crown to the toe top-fill/ Of direst cruelty” (1.5.48-50). With the influence of the supernatural, she gains the power to dominate her husband in a reversal of gender roles. Additionally, she becomes the force behind Macbeth to fulfill her own ambitions and performs acts of violence and cruelty. Similarly, Jean Rhys in Wide Sargasso Sea, utilizes the supernatural in the reversal of gender roles. Antoinette, desperate to regain her husband’s love, pursues the rumors that her old care-taker partakes in …show more content…
While female characters desire power in a relationship; their male counterpart fears the loss of their own power. Consequently, with the supernatural influence, Lady Macbeth and Antoinette gain the power to reach equality. Additionally, Rochester and Macbeth lose their power to assert their dominance. However, each character’s mental state is also affected in the same way, showing the true results of the supernatural’ s influence. Thus, the supernatural is used as an indicator for the inequality between male and female characters in British

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