The Supernatural

Macbeth is a screenplay written by the late, great William Shakespeare.

Macbeth is the shortest and bloodiest tragedy he wrote. It tells the story of a Scottish military man who learns of three witches prophecies that say he will become king. Overtaken by his own ambition, he and his wife murder the current king. The problem, however, is that Macbeth is not first in line after the murder. He must then continue to murder other people to not only cover up his original deed but to secure his position as king.

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The sinful nature of Macbeth and his wife lead them to madness and their own demise.The supernatural plays a large role in this demise.This element adds to the eeriness. The supernatural elements are, in large part, figments of the imagination of Macbeth. Throughout the play, the use of the supernatural element weighs heavily on the gory plot. Shortly before Macbeth murders Duncan, there is a scene in which Macbeth invisions a dagger floating in the air.

The handle of the dagger points toward Macbeth, with the point toward Duncan’s room. When he attempts to grasp the dagger, he cannot. This is because he is imagining it. He has become so stressed out about the plan to murder Duncan that his mind is playing with him. He is too weak to commit such a deed and cannot handle the guilt of what he has not even done yet. There is no evidence that an outside force has created this dagger, nor is there anything to support the dagger being real.

Macbeth himself claims that it is a, “dagger of the mind”. The effects of ambition have begun to weigh slightly on Macbeth. Later on in the play, another supernatural act that defies the law of nature occurs. Macbeth is told that Banquo has been killed. Upon returning to his seat, he sees Banquo’s ghost. This absolutely terrifies Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth tries to cover up her husbands obvious insanity, but Macbeth doesn’t recover. The ghost only disappears for a moment. Macbeth panics and almost reveals the secrets he has been hiding. Lady Macbeth must hide what is really going on. The fact that Macbeth has seen any kind of ghost at all is a result of his slow decent into insanity.

He can no longer distinguish the real from what he has imagined. He genuinely believes that everyone else is seeing the same thing he is. In actuality, it’s a figment of his imagination and by his outburst, he reveals his guilt. In Act 2 scene 2, Macbeth admits to having heard a voice. The voice proclaims,”Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”.

The voice that appears to have come out of nowhere has really startled him. Lady Macbeth tells him that he is imagining things and that he needs to just go wash his hands. Macbeth, at this point, is still frozen with the daggers in his hands. He is so traumatized by the first murder that he can no longer function as a normal human. He is afraid to even think about what he has done. His own subconscious has to speak to him directly.

Any kind of ghost is not mentioned, so it is assumed that it is strictly Macbeth’s mind playing tricks on him. He has lost his mind completely. The supernatural element in Macbeth is as strong as the play’s characters. Macbeth’s guilty and dirty hands cause his mind to play games with him. There isn’t evidence for an outside force that could be causing any of his hallucinations. The suspenseful and dramatic supernatural element is simply the insane man’s mind.