An analysis of the influence of the supernatural in the tragedy macbeth by william shakespeare

The first apparition is the disembodied head of a warrior who seems to warn Macbeth of a bloody revenge at the hands of Macduff. The second is a blood-covered child who comforts Macbeth with the news that he cannot be killed by any man "of woman born. All this serves only to enrage Macbeth, who, trusting in his own pride, reveals in an aside to the audience his determination to slaughter the family of Macduff.

An analysis of the influence of the supernatural in the tragedy macbeth by william shakespeare

An analysis of Shakespeare's use of the supernatural between two genres of Tragedy. Fiction K - English - Supernatural - Words: The supernatural in Shakespeare's tragedies acts as a catalyst to the events of the plays, while being passive, and acting as characterization.

An analysis of the influence of the supernatural in the tragedy macbeth by william shakespeare

It is also used to emphasize the recurring theme of Usurpation. In this essay I will use the interpretation of the supernatural as an event, something that is not subjected to, but is above, the laws of nature and compare the role it plays between Richard IIa history play, and Macbeth ?

Shakespeare's plays can be largely grouped into the two classical genres of Comedies and Tragedies.

An analysis of the influence of the supernatural in the tragedy macbeth by william shakespeare

The difference between these two groups has been best described by Lord Byron, who wrote in Don Juan — 'All tragedies are finish'd by a death,' and 'All comedies are ended by a marriage'.

However, within these two genres different groups should be noticed. Within the Tragedies there are two more genres: Because the History plays are also Tragedies, I will examine the way the Supernatural is represented in a History play and a Tragic play; examining the effect of Usurpation and what causes this to happen, and how they differ because of genre.

The theme of Usurpation in Shakespeare's tragedies is linked closely to the Renaissance belief in the Great Chain of being.

The Great Chain of Being was the idea that everything in society had a place and a role to play, with god at the top, then kings, clergy, common people, and then animals at the bottom.

Usurpation is the idea of a seizure of power, particularly though not exclusively a wrongful seizure. If ever the chain were to break in some way then nature itself would react against the disturbance, and this would be a sign of Divine Intervention or Judgment.

Both Richard II and Macbeth deal with the Supernatural result of Usurpation, though in Macbeth features it more prominently, and they use the Supernatural in similar ways. Richard is making a speech during a confrontation with Bolingbroke's supporters.

Bolingbroke as usurped the throne while Richard was fighting in Ireland, and Richard has since returned. Bolingbroke has - because Richard abused his power as King - a rightful claim to the throne, and he commands a large part of England's army, though some soldiers still remain loyal to Richard.

Richard, unaware of his abuse of power and his Tragic Flaw, still believes that God will support him and he is the rightful king, as evidenced in these lines: The breath of worldly men cannot depose The deputy elected by the Lord. For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown, God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay A glorious angel: Richard refers to himself speaking as the Body Politik as the deputy.

This shows the idea of the Great Chain of Being influencing a personality, making them believe that supernatural events will take place on their behalf. This is consistent with the beliefs from the time the play is set. It also appears to be Richard's personal delusion, he cannot separate his royal persona from his opinions, and therein lies his fatal flaw.

Expert Answers

Belief in the Great Chain is not unique to Richard however, but of all the characters in the play Richard appears to believe in it the most. It is worth noting that Bolingbroke often comments on and questions his own actions during King Henry IV part 1 and 2 in relation to the Great Chain.

Earlier in the play the idea of divine intervention and the supernatural is referenced in more active manner. In Act 2, Scene 4 a captain says to the Earl of Salsbury: The bay trees in our country are all wither'd, And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven; The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change; Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap, The one in fear to lose what they enjoy, The other to enjoy by rage and war.

These signs forerun the death or fall of kings. This is suggested as being a part of nature reacting as it is mentioned alongside descriptions of nature turning as meteors flying across the sky, and 'bay trees … are all wither'd', and The 'pale-faced moon' appears blood red.

It is worth noting that this is said in Act 2. When Richard is still alive and just as Bolingbroke has started to seize power. The argument that nature is reacting to a brake in the Great Chain before or as it is happening seems at first temperamental, however this also happens in Macbeth.

Duncan's horses appear to attack each other and go wild. In act 2, scene 4 of Macbeth: ROSS And Duncan's horses,—a thing most strange and certain,— Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make War with mankind.

These horses understood here to stand for nature appear to be reacting against the deed. The only explanation for this is it is a divine influence is reacting to the break in the Great Chain of Being.

The supernatural appearing before a Usurpation has happened also occurs in Hamlet, in which the ghost of Hamlet's father appears in a foreboding role.

But what thou art, God, thou, and I, do know; And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue. The witches are key to the play but they are also was a supernatural force that influenced daily, human affairs.

2. Witches and magicians were agents of the devil whose purpose was to punish sinners & tempt the virtuous.

William Shakespeare Essays

The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - The Influence of the Supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Dramatic impact is the effect on the audience.

'Macbeth' is a play designed to be performed for and to involve the audience. Author, shakespeare at writing and historical contexts and dark dramas, the most famous and. It's just one of william shakespeare shakespeare's inspiration, by discussion of a analysis william primary - creative genius and actor, and.

Shakespeare often borrowed from ancient to write the oxford reference collection includes an amazingly large vocabulary: hardback. - Use of Nature and Supernatural in Macbeth The aura of darkness, deception, and horror present in William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, envelopes the entire play and is created mainly by the sense of violence and foreboding that is evoked by the imagery.

William Shakespeare wrote the Tragedy of Macbeth in approximately AD in order to please King James, the 1st who was very interested in supernatural things. He also wrote a book called “Demonology” which tells about witches and witchcraft. Get an answer for 'How does the influence of the supernatural contribute to the fatal fall of Macbeth in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth?

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Macbeth: Summary & Analysis Act IV Scene 1 | CliffsNotes