Macbeth Research Paper

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The theme of the supernatural is a recurring element and is essential to the storyline of Macbeth. The supernatural elements add suspense to Macbeth, create an eerie mood, and also give the reader a better understanding of the characters. The society of Shakespeare’s time placed a huge value on supernatural forces such as witches, and they believed that supernatural forces influenced many aspects of their daily life. Some forms of the supernatural present in Macbeth are: the three witches, Macbeth’s hallucinations, Banquo’s ghost, and the floating dagger. The supernatural elements seem to be real and not just figments of Macbeth’s imagination. Other characters such as Banquo are involved with supernatural elements so the reader is led to believe…show more content…
In the very first scene, all three witches chant, "Fair is foul and foul is fair.” (1.1.12). The witches’ chant is illustrative of the unnatural, and has a deeper meaning of appearance versus reality. The three witches symbolize Macbeth’s corrupt goals, and also foresee Macbeth’s fate. In Macbeth’s first encounter with the witches, the first witch says, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!” The second witch says, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!” The third witch says, “All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.51-54). The previous quotations are part of the witches’ prophecy that Macbeth will one day be king. The witches also prophesied that Banquo’s children will someday be king. Next, the first witch says “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.” Then, second witch says, “Not so happy, yet much happier.” Finally, third witch says, “Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” (1.3.68-71). This prediction symbolizes that Banquo’s children will be the heirs to the throne, while Macbeth will have no heir to the throne. After the witches predicted that Macbeth would be king, Macbeth was willing to risk everything to become king. The witches’ predictions from this scene influence Macbeth’s decision to murder King Duncan, King Duncan’s sleeping-chamber guards, Banquo,…show more content…
Macbeth plans to meet with the witches again to discuss his fate. As the witches prepare for Macbeth’s arrival they chant, “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” (4.1.35-36). When Macbeth arrives he wants the witches to answer his questions regarding his future, even if the answers are not pleasing. The witches stir up a potion in their cauldron and a series of apparitions appear to Macbeth. The first apparition contains Macbeth’s head and warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff. The second apparition contains a child covered in blood who warns Macbeth that he will not be harmed by anyone who is woman born. The third apparition contains a child with a crown who tells Macbeth that he will be safe until Birnam Wood advances to Dunsinane Hill. The witches’ prophesies give Macbeth a tremendous sense of security which causes Macbeth to seem fearless. After Macbeth’s second encounter with the witches, he continually relies on the witches predictions to protect

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