In the play “Macbeth”, there are many interesting sections that concentrate on the suspense and the involvement of the supernatural. The use of the supernatural in the witches, Lady Macbeth, nature, the vision, the ghost and the apparitions are all key elements in making “Macbeth” as a tragedy play. With the sense of the supernatural and interference of the spirits, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led to dangerous tempting things. Macbeths character becomes completely different from the brave soldier to the evil king and to his tragic death where he discovers humility again when it is too late. Lady Macbeths character also changes from being a loving wife and masculine woman to madness woman. The use of supernatural also makes the play interesting to the audience. Examining certain scenes of the play, it is noticed that the supernatural is definitely a major factor on the plays style.
The use of supernatural occurs at the beginning of the play, with three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. “When the battles lost and won”, it says Macbeths fate is that he will win the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of his soul. The prophecies that revealed by the witches bring a broad temptation to Macbeth that had been in his secret all along for being a king, “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical”.
This shows that Macbeth ambition is present before the prophecies. He would never have thought seriously about killing Duncan without the witches. His temptation makes him doing whatever he can to gain power of the throne as prophesied by witches because he thinks the only way to gain the power of the throne is by killing Duncan, which is an easier plan and the ways he makes to the throne show evilness that gradually increased in his actions by murder Duncan, Banquo and Macduffs family. The presence of the witches also gives a huge impact in making the play more interesting. These witches have very strange features; old people in a group of three with dirty and broken cloths, bearded, and no eyes. These features keep the audience hooked to the play and the suspense increases with every scary sound that produced by witches. The supernatural element also taking place in Lady Macbeths soliloquy of calling upon evil spirits to give her power to plot the murder of Duncan without any remorse or conscience.
“Come, you spiritsunsex me here and fill meof direst crueltycome to my womans breasts for gall”, her soliloquy shows that she relied on the supernatural by asking for the spirit to get rid of her natural feelings of compassion by making her cruel. The interference with the supernatural might cause her be possessed by ghost when she goes mad and sees blood on her hands. On the night Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan to kill Duncan, the nature acting very strangely, “the moon is downtheir candles are all out”. It says that there is no moon and no stars in the sky. “The obscure bird clamored the livelong night”, this shows that the owl keep crying out the whole night.
This nature of darkness together with the crying owl evokes of evilness in the night when Duncan is killed. The strange behaviour in nature shows the existence of supernatural and it creates a perfect scene for the accursed murder. The darkness and the sound of the owl make the play becomes more real and interesting for the audience.
As Macbeth awaits for the signal to make his way up to the stairs, he sees floating dagger and said “Thou marshalst me the way that I was going; and such an instrument I was to usetheres no such thing. It is the bloody business which informs”. Here, Macbeth begins to question whether his mind playing tricks on him or there is presence of evil that put the dagger which being covered with blood.
This shows that there is interference of supernatural that leads Macbeth towards the Duncans chamber to do the murder. The dagger symbolizes the point of no return for Macbeth. If he chooses the path in which the dagger leads, there will be no turning back. After Macbeth did the murder, he becomes a king. Although he has already achieve his goal to be a king, he begins to be greedier to not let the Banquos prophecy of being father of kings come true because he thinks he has put a great effort to reach the throne. Therefore, because of his fears due to Banquos prophecy, Macbeth proceeds to plot the murder of his friend, which caused him to fall into a deeper hole. Once the murderer notified Macbeth that the deed was done, he observed Banquos ghost in the place reserved for him.
“What man dare, I dare. Approach thou like rugged Russian bear take any shape but that, and my firm nerves shall never tremble.” Macbeth feels frightened at the sight of the bloody ghost haunting him and proclaim that he could take any wild animals, but not Banquos ghost.
This shows the interference of spirit in Macbeths mind and this caused Macbeth to act in a wild manner, making people suspicious of his actions. The word “I will, to the weird sisters: more shall the speak, for now I am bent to know by the worst means the worst.” This tells us that the existence of the ghost also tempting Macbeth to return to the three witches, desiring more information regarding his fortune. As the witches are preparing a magic portion in a cauldron, Macbeth enters and roughly demands them to answer his questions. Therefore, the witches show him three apparitions.
The first apparition is a head wearing a helmet. It says “Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff! Beware Thane of Fife.” This apparition warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff before disappearing. This drives Macbeth to hate Macduff more and on learning that Macduff has escaped before he can have him murdered, Macbeth immediately decides to murder his whole family. This shows Macbeth as an evil king, he decides the murder because he can do it, it is the irrational act of tyrant.
The second apparition is a child covered with blood who tells him that “for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” This apparition assures Macbeth to will not be harmed by man who born by woman. This convinced Macbeth of the power he has by thinking how could Macduff, a man of woman born, hurt him.
“Then live, Macduff: What need I fear of thee? But yet Ill make assurance double sure, and take a bond of fate.” It says that although Macbeth has learned that Macduff will not hurt him, as Macbeth thinks that Macduff is a woman born, he still not completely feel assured that he will not be harm by anyone. The third apparition is a child crowned with a tree in his hand tells Macbeth that “Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.
” It says that Macbeth will never be defeated until Great Birnam Wood moves against the castle at Dunsinane. “That will never be, who can impress the forestsweet bodements, good!” It shows that Macbeth feels completely certain that no man can kill him and he will not be defeated until a forest uproots itself and moves. All of these apparitions show the interference of the spirit who tells Macbeth about his fortune. These apparitions are good news for Macbeth. The witches encouraged him to believe he is invulnerable and indestructible. He has found protection in the strength of spirits words. Having possession of all the confidence in the world, he fears no one. The prophecies at the beginning of the play led him to his success, and those apparitions at the end just led to his tragic death.
It is a tragic death because without known that Macbeth will become a king, he would still be a brave soldier, honest and humble man. From all above, the use of the supernatural and spirits provide suspenseful play in Macbeth. The first prophecies have led Macbeth to murder Duncan and Banquo in order to gain the power of the throne. Lady Macbeth also relied on supernatural by her soliloquy to change her into a creature without human compassion, which at the end shows that she might be possessed by spirits.
The hallucination of the dagger also shows the interference of spirit that leads Macbeths way to Duncans chamber. After his encounter with the ghost of Banquo, Macbeth proceeds to visit the witches one last time to insure his security. After this last visit, Macbeth becomes over confident which cause his tragic death. Without the witches, Lady Macbeth, strange nature, vision of dagger, ghost, and the apparitions, the play “Macbeth” would have been a dull and tiresome play.