Sample Essay on:
The Role of the Witches and the Supernatural in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

A 5 page paper which examines how these elements function within the play, specifically considering language, how their actions affect and inspire reactions (behavior) in others, and how their staging appeals to the audience. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

Page Count:

5 pages (~225 words per page)

File: TG15_TGmbwitches.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

a play actually based on real events in Scottish history, Shakespeare introduced the elements of the witches and the supernatural to teach a moral lesson that emphasized the evil motivations of Macbeth and his lady. By introducing a trio of witches in the opening scene of Macbeth, Shakespeare is purposely setting a macabre tone for the darkest and most graphically violent of all his plays. The witches are instrumental in igniting the fatal fuse of ambition within Lord and Lady Macbeth, who will stop at nothing to grab the Scottish crown from King Duncan, including murder. Securing the throne proves not to be enough; they will keep it at the cost of human lives. The witches and the supernatural are symbolic of evil and the corruption it represents, which manifest themselves in Macbeths bloodlust for power. The supernatural also disrupts divine succession for because of the witches intervention, Macbeths ascension to the throne circumvents the divine right of kings. Act I, Scene I opens with the sounds of thunder and flashes of lightning echoing from atop the Scottish moors. Out of the stormy darkness, three witches attired in long, black cloaks emerge speaking in bizarre language that sounds like ritualistic chanting: FIRST WITCH. When shall we three meet again? / In thunder, lightning, or in rain? SECOND WITCH. When the hurlyburlys done, / When the battles lost and won. THIRD WITCH. That will be ere the set of sun. FIRST WITCH. Where the place? SECOND WITCH. Upon the heath. THIRD WITCH. There to meet with Macbeth. FIRST WITCH. I come, Graymalkin. ALL. Paddock calls. Anon! / Fair is foul, and foul is fair. / Hover through the fog and filthy air (1-13). Note the use of adjective filthy, which will be ...

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