The Effect Of The Supernatural Upon Events — страница 4

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it: ?Wake Duncan with though knocking, I would thou couldst.? (A. 2, S. 2, L. 74) It?s not just Macbeth who seems to be the worse for wear when it comes to consciences ? Lady Macbeth, the one who pushed Macbeth into doing things in the first place, is ultimately driven insane by guilt over Duncan?s murder, the act she asked the supernatural spirits to help her with. Lady Macbeth undergoes a rapid transformation from the start of the play, and the main event which seems to finally shatter her is the news of Lady Macduff?s castle being attacked and everyone inside murdered. When we see Lady Macbeth after this she?s raving about the murders, envisioning her hands still coated in the blood of the dead King: ?Out damned spot, out I say! ?here?s the smell of blood still? what, will

these hands ne?er be clean?? (A. 5, S. 1) At the beginning of the play, it was Lady Macbeth who goaded her husband for being weak and thinking of their actions? consequences, and told him he was foolish to think of such things. She told him that she wished to be cruel and heartless, and that he should act like a man and do what needed to be done. However, in the scene just before her death with the doctor, she seems racked by guilt and can?t stop trying to wash her hands of the blood on them, saying that her hands will never be clean (i.e. her conscience). This outburst of guilt is similar to the way Macbeth acts at the banquet, which she is angry with him for. Macbeth too tells things to people present he shouldn?t (when he denies having done anything), just like his wife who

the doctor and gentlewoman hear talk of killing old men and so on. Although Lady Macbeth?s ramblings aren?t really affected directly by the supernatural like Macbeth?s were (the ideas of ghosts and so on), her fractured reason is one of the results of what?s happened before in the play, which, as I discussed earlier, is linked to the supernatural in a big way, the way in which the Witches affect the events of the play. When Macbeth is King and having doubts about his future, he goes to visit the Witches for a second time and demands answers. He is given apparitions by the three Witches concerning his situation and these figures each make a statement Macbeth listens to. The first apparition tells Macbeth to ?beware Macduff? (A. 4, S. 1, L. 71), the second ?none of woman born shall

harm Macbeth? (A. 4, S. 1, L. 80), and the last one that ?Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam Wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.? These predictions again fool Macbeth into thinking things will go his way. The way the predictions are told to Macbeth make it seem as if he?s totally invincible, by saying that he will not be harmed unless a forest can move and no man that?s been born by a woman can kill him. The Witches and their apparitions aren?t exactly deceitful in the things they tell Macbeth, they?re just cloaked in riddles that Macbeth doesn?t think can come true and so he feels he?s safe. This is the last time we see the Witches themselves in Macbeth, although they influence a lot of things still. The predictions they?ve made affect Macbeth

until the end and their power reaches out to the characters even when they?re not on stage or present or talking to other characters. However, at the end of the play as Macbeth is nearing his death he realises how much the Witches have tricked him into carrying out their evil deeds and that truthfully the kingship wasn?t worth losing everything for. He learns of the way the woods move, cloaking Macduff?s English-enforced army towards his castle, and also of the way Macduff wasn?t born of a woman; he was born by Caesarean section: ?Macduff was from his mother?s womb untimely ripped.? (A. 5, S. 8, Ls. 15/16) As Macbeth discovers this, he realises that he isn?t as invincible as he thought and that the Witches have duped him. Macbeth has lost his wife, his best friend, his kingship,

his respect, his holiness, and his conscience haunts him every waking moment of the day. He?s done everything for nothing. He realises that what he thought was worth anything for (the kingship) he can?t hold onto and it was pointless to begin to try to attain by foul means. He figures out that all what the Witches were interested in was corrupting a once valiant soldier into something they could play with. Overall, it?s a combination of things that lead Macbeth to his downfall, not just witchcraft, although this does start it all off and without it the play couldn?t have developed very well. It would have been boring and less dramatic if the supernatural hadn?t made itself known in the play, not to mention far less complex. To conclude, I can finally say that the effect of the