Essay Topic: The supernatural plays an important role in Macbeth. To what extent does it motivate Macbeth’s actions? IntroductionIntroductory statement: In Macbeth, an essential part of the structure of the story is the supernatural. It gives a rise to the main scenes in the play and arguments their impact.
Thesis statement: The Witches had several roles: that of instigators, temptors and prophets. The dagger and the ghost of Banquo are fabrications of Macbeth’s mind and can be seen as a device of the supernatural, because they motivate his actions.BodyFirst Supporting Idea: The witches’ prophecies to Macbeth and Banquo at the beginning of the play work because they play on Macbeth’s own ambitions.
His ambitions propel him to murder and make the prophecies work.Second Supporting Idea:Floating daggerThird Supporting Idea:Ghost of BanquoConclusionClosing statement:The play Macbeth contains various motifs and themes that reveal how easily people can be persuaded to follow their ambitions, moral or not, and the consequences of the blind search for material gain.Reworded thesisThe witches appear to confront Macbeth, and present prophecies regarding the future.The figures of the supernatural in Macbeth are used by him as an excuse to fulfill his ambitions at any cost.Maria Georgieva Mr. FlanneryELL 10/316 January 2018To what extent does the supernatural in Macbeth motivate his actions? In Macbeth, an essential part of the structure of the story is the supernatural. It gives a rise to the main scenes in the play and arguments their impact.
The Witches had several roles: that of instigators, temptors and prophets. The dagger and the ghost of Banquo are fabrications of Macbeth’s mind and can be seen as a device of the supernatural, because they motivate his actions. In the play the protagonist, Macbeth, is influenced by many people, the most important of whom are the witches. At the beginning, Macbeth is battling his desire to become king, when he suddenly comes upon the Weird Sisters who tell him, “All hail Macbeth, thou shalt be king thereafter!” (1.4.
454). This quote proves that the witches appear in front of him only after he subconsciously starts considering the possibility of becoming king. His mind summons them only when he is in need. Their imaginary existence is proven in Act 4 scene 1 when after Macbeth receives more prophecies by the witches and they vanish, he asks Lennox hysterically: “Saw you the weird sisters?”, to which Lennox replies: “No, my lord.” The three witches meet with Banquo and Macbeth because their prophecy about the war starting when the woods start moving comes true. That proves them to be real because Macbeth has no way of knowing that otherwise. The witches telling Macbeth that he will become king is just his ugly power-hungry ambition, personified in The Weird sisters that urge him toward his dark dream.
The witches appear before Macbeth only when it is convenient for the character to hear their advice. Another form of the supernatural is the air-drawn dagger which leads Macbeth to his victim. When the dagger appears to him, Macbeth finally becomes victim to the delusions of his fevered brain: “Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand?” (2.1.33-34).
Macbeth is hallucinating that he sees a dagger floating in front of him. His guilt is taking over him and making him lose touch with reality, because things aren’t always what they appear to be. The dagger points to Duncan’s room and appears to be covered in blood. It encourages or “pushes” Macbeth to commit the crime. “Mine eyes are made the fools..
45) shows that Macbeth is aware that this is just a vision, but he doesn’t resist because this hallucination helps him to follow his ambitions and become a king. At the same time it is showing the audience that what Macbeth is about to do is evil. Shakespeare uses the supernatural to guide the audience to show what evil is. We begin to notice, as we read through the play, that supernatural is used in all places where evil is present. The text provides no definitive answer about the nature of the dagger (is it good or bad), as well as whether it’s supposed to encourage or discourage the deed. From this we are probably to feel the same uncertainty and duality as Macbeth.
The presence of Banquo’s ghost provides insight into Macbeth’s character. It shows the level that Macbeth’s mind has recessed to. When he sees the ghost he reacts with horror and upsets the guests. Banquo’s ghost is the supernatural symbol of the acts that Macbeth committed and also the other, more peaceful path that Macbeth could have chosen.
Banquo’s ghost serves to show the path that Macbeth could have chosen as well as serving as a reminder of Macbeth’s deeds. It is in this way that Banquo haunts Macbeth in two ways. Banquo’s ghost serves as a reminder of the horrors Macbeth committed to gain the crown and the innocent blood he spilled. Banquo’s haunting unnerves Macbeth and unsettles his conscience: “Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ th’ olden time, / Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal; / Ay, and since too, murders have been performed / Too terrible for the ear. The time has been / That, when the brains were out, the man would die, / And there an end.
But now they rise again / With twenty mortal murders on their crowns / And push us from our stools. This is more strange / Than such a murder is” (3.4.78-86). Banquo’s ghost terrifies Macbeth and in this way shows us the ways he haunts his murderer. The play Macbeth contains various motifs and themes that reveal how easily people can be persuaded to follow their ambitions, moral or not, and the consequences of the blind search for material gain.
The witches appear to confront Macbeth, and present prophecies regarding the future. The figures of the supernatural in Macbeth are used by him as an excuse to fulfill his ambitions at any cost.