Examine the role of supernatural in the play Macbeth. To what extent does it lead to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Scotland's decline ? I want to write an essay.i want some ideas so i can make my essay...

Examine the role of supernatural in the play Macbeth. To what extent does it lead to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Scotland's decline ? I want to write an essay.

i want some ideas so i can make my essay better

Expert Answers
susan3smith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Analyzing the effects of the supernatural elements in Macbeth is a good approach to the play.  You might begin by looking at the witches' prophesies to Macbeth and Banquo at the beginning of the play.  The most important of these is the prophesy that Macbeth will become king and that Banquo's sons will be kings.

Predicting the future is a supernatural act, but mere humans make these prophesies come true.  Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, upon hearing the witches' prophecies (Lady Macbeth through her husband's letter), decide that it is Macbeth's fate to become king.  So they take the "near'st way" to this position by murdering Duncan.  It is Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's belief in the truth of the prophesies that propels them to murder.  Instead of letting the prophesies come true on their own, they make them happen. And, of course, Macbeth makes a very poor king indeed, creating chaos in all of Scotland.

You then might look at Macbeth's second encounter with the witches.  They again predict the future.  This time Macbeth's reaction is quite different.  Instead of acting to fulfill the prophesies, he acts to prevent them.   Macbeth now believes that he can change his fate.

So, you might view the witches as having several roles:  that of instigators, temptors, and prophets.  But clearly the decision to murder is Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's.


renoa | Student

There is a strong role of a supernatural force in Macbeth. The witches who had the power to see the future, the ghosts and of course the bloody dagger that appeared to Macbeth before going to commit his murder to the king . all these seems to be supernatural. The Three Witches are the strongest of the supernatural powers in the play. They made prophesies that effected Macbeth and moved him toward killing the king and his best friend and finally those prophesies caused his death .

     The Witches didn't predict that he will commit murder to become the king but only that he will become king. The Witches knew how he will get to be a king . The Witches have the biggest affect on Macbeth because they are the ones who told him their prophesies. The Witches said that no man born from a woman's womb can defeat Macbeth, that made him feel unbeatable. However, Macbeth does not realize that Macduff was born unnaturally and he will be the one to kill him.

Macbeth has a vision of a dagger just before killing the King. This vision  of a bloody dagger is another example of the supernatural. This dagger encouraged or "pushed" Macbeth to kill the king. Shakespeare used the supernatural to add an evil side to the play to attract the people. The supernatural is used in all places where evil is present.



Banquo told Macbeth that he suspect him of killing the King . Macbeth feared being murdered and being discovered of killing King Duncan. So he killed Banquo and at the  same night he was invited to a feast. He saw Banquo's ghost there and that made him went mad and almost crazy though he is the only one who can see the ghost . This supernatural scene is very important since it is one of the first signs of Macbeth's fear and guilt.


The supernatural theme is a very important one in “Macbeth”. Otherwise the play would not be as great as it is now, and Macbeth could not be beaten . Macbeth caused his own death when he relied on the supernatural.

lillymoon | Student

The first prophecy, which states that Macbeth will become king, is what prompts Lady Macbeth into convincing Macbeth that it is neccessary to kill Duncan. This is what begins everything, turning Macbeth into a murderer and becoming insane. The second prophecy implied that Macbeth would not be killed, although it is stating the exact opposite. In turn, Macbeth doesn't take any precautions, for according to the prophecy, he isn't in any danger. The ghost that Macbeth sees at the dining table makes everyone else suspicious of him. So, now there is Macbeth, who is sitting back, "relaxed", knowing that he is safe from any imminent danger, ignorant of the people plotting Macbeth's untimely death.

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