Macbeth: themes= supernatural

About the witches (4 points) 1. their “strange intelligence” and ability to predict the future gives them power over humans. However, when they’re planning to harm the sea captain, they say his ship “cannot be lost” which hints their power is limited2. they drive the action of the play. It’s unlikely that Macbeth would have committed so many terrible crimes if he hadn’t been influenced by the witches3. associated with chaos: try to impress an unnatural order on whats good and natural. Macbeth says they “untie the winds” and make “castles topple”. The Witches are motivated by “destruction” rather than goodness4. the struggle between the natural and unnatural order: cruel inhuman and show now remorse; celebrate evil
What do visions show supernatural signs of guilt
Visions in Act 2 Scene 1 – Macbeth sees visions of a dagger just as he’s going to kill Duncan- Its not clear whether its leading him or warning him against murder. – It represents the “bloody business” he’s about to do
Visions in Act 3 Scene 4 – Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost- gives him “strange infirmity”- nobody else can see the ghost proving its a sign of Macbeth’s guilty conscience
Visions in Act 5 Scene 1 – Lady Macbeth is driven mad as she imagines that hr hands will “never be clean” of Duncan’s blood- her guilt is so great that she kills herself
The visions fill the characters with fear: Macbeth • Macbeth is “blanched” with fear” by Banquo’s ghost. • His language is agitated and nervous- “Prithee, see there! Behold, look, lo!” • His fear made him lose control of his speech2.
The visions fill the characters with fear: Lady Macbeth • Lady Macbeth’s language when she sleepwalks is desperate• “O o o!” shows that she’s disturbed by the vision of blood on her hands.• The Doctor says that her heart is “lovely charged”: he sees that the vision is the result of her guilty conscience
“Come you spirits/that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here!/and fill me, with crown to the toe, top-full/ Of direst cruelty. • “Come you spirits”: invites the spirits showing she has embraced the supernatural whereas Macbeth seems nervous of its power• “unsex me here”: explicit rejection of traditionally female behaviour. Lady Macbeth is rejecting the typical patriarchal society of the time• Not only is Lady Macbeth prepared to be cruel, but the adjective “direst” highlights the extreme lengths she is willing to go to.
“Fair is foul and foul is fair” • Alliteration of “f”: sinister, uneasy tone• Repetition of “fair” and “foul”: two ideas are interchangeable, emphasised further by the definitive “is”• “foul”: more dominant and intimidating.”fair”: caring and pleasant—evil element overpowers goodness.• King James I wrote a book stating all magic was evil—this chant sounds almost like a magical spell, and the audience would fear it.