Sample Essay on:
William Shakespeare’s Supernatural “Macbeth”

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

A 7 page paper which examines how “Macbeth” is a supernatural play and considers its effects on the characters. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

Page Count:

7 pages (~225 words per page)

File: TG15_TGmacsup.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

to achieve their collective goal -- to make Lord Macbeth monarch of Scotland. Of course, there already is a king occupying the throne, by the name of Duncan, but that is only a mere obstacle to be eliminated. In order to gain a greater understanding as to what may have motivated Shakespeare to compose a supernatural play, it is important to consider the work from an historical context. During the Elizabethan era, superstitious fears were at their peak in England and Scotland, and the majority of people living in this time believed that witches could materialize without warning and insinuate themselves into daily life (Nostbakken and Johnson 86). Both Lord and Lady Macbeth are ambitious to a fault, but as the play unfolds, one has to question whether these ambitions are genuine, or have been the result of supernatural intervention. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the literary devices of irony and symbolism to achieve maximum mystical effect, and also explores the impact of the supernatural upon individuals. Each of the main characters is somehow touched by sightings or events that could be described as paranormal, and each must pay the consequences. One critic opined that, in this work, the tragic and the supernatural are synonymous: "The tragedy of Macbeth thus lies in the attempt of a mortal to control the baleful powers to which he has yielded himself" (Whitmore 258). When Macbeth encounters a trio of ghosts during his travels, their cryptic prophesies set the stage for the subsequent action: THIRD WITCH. All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!... FIRST WITCH. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. SECOND WITCH. Not so happy, yet much happier. THIRD WITCH. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. / So all hail, Macbeth ...

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