An analysis of the use of supernatural in macbeth

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Macbeth is a courageous Scottish general who is not naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, yet he deeply desires power and advancement. He kills Duncan against his better judgment and afterward stews in guilt and paranoia. Toward the end of the play he descends into a kind of frantic, boastful madness.

An analysis of the use of supernatural in macbeth

Otherwise, the line scans normally. The dagger's appearance can be viewed ambiguously; is it an omen that Macbeth should proceed, or is it a final warning of his conscience? Macbeth's dismissal of the dagger later in the speech would suggest that he's trying to make himself believe that it's a good sign, but how would you interpret the appearance of a bloody dagger hovering before your eyes right before you were due to commit murder?

Come, let me clutch thee. The trochaic inversion in the middle of this line is another verse technique that Shakespeare frequently employs following a caesura. The inversion sandwiches two stresses around the end of a sentence, and is useful in giving a greater emphasis to the beginning of the new thought in this case, he wants to grasp it to see if it's real.

Also, the ending scansion of a feminine ending on top of the end-stop of "Come, let me clutch thee" continues the weak ending tension mirroring Macbeth's doubt about this dagger and what it may portend.

Straight iambic pentameter here. The unbroken rhythm of the verse works in conjunction with the end-stops of this line and the line above; this is not a throwaway line. The stresses also highlight the key words in the parallelism have, not, yet, see, still.

Macbeth now has to make sense of this paradox; he plainly sees the dagger, it's right there in front of him, and yet he cannot lay hands upon it. The starkness of the line helps to punctuate the subtle change in Macbeth's tone as he tries to puzzle through this vision in the next few lines.

An analysis of the use of supernatural in macbeth

Note that at this point, he sees a dagger and nothing more. In this context, fatal doesn't quite denote "deadly" although that makes a ripe double entendre than it does "foreboding mischief and death; ominous" or, arguably, "instrumental to destiny.

Sensible here denotes "perceptible, tangible" when viewed in its relation to the end of Macbeth's question. Or art thou but Feeling in this line denotes "the sense of touch. However, the potent combination of language and Macbeth addressing this dagger as if it were a character onstage forces the audience to visualize that dagger hovering in front of him.

First, there's the literal contrast of tangible reality and Macbeth's imagination. False in this context plays upon a number of meanings.

While the primary reading is "unreal," shades of "deceitful, inconstant; not to be trusted" are equally applicable. Keep in mind that Macbeth is asking three questions in the first seven lines, which reflects the struggle that Macbeth is still undergoing in coming to terms with his intended crime.

Macbeth acknowledges that the dagger that has appeared could be a trick of his imagination in this case, perhaps induced by a fever.

Fever is a symptom of a disease in its literal meaning. As a metaphor, fever denotes a state of heightened or intense emotion or activity. The disease, in this instance, is ambition.

It's interesting how Shakespeare uses the repetition of "I see" throughout the early part of the soliloquy. It creates a rhetorical buildup of tension as Shakespeare creates a little more detail each time, then returns with "I see thee still" or "I see thee yet" as a refrain.

And just in case the verbal imagery of the dagger hasn't been working for the audience, Macbeth draws his own dagger to create supporting visual imagery. There are two points of interest here. First, the line is only three feet or six syllables.

This could point to a corruption in the text as it was transcribed prior to its First Folio edition. Although some lines throughout the canon are eight, six, or even four syllables, these are usually limited to two situations: Since this line represents neither scenario, the line may indeed have lost a foot or two between Shakespeare's writing of Macbeth and the first print edition of the text.

Second, notice also how Shakespeare writes stage direction into this speech. It won't make much sense here if Macbeth doesn't draw his dagger somewhere around uttering the line.

Marshall in this context means "to guide or usher," so that Macbeth is saying, "you seem to guide me where I was already headed. Enough on marshall for now, lest we start beating a dead horse.

While the last two syllables of instrument meaning "tool; agent or author" could technically scan as an iamb within the rhythm of the line, it seems a little sing-song here. Hence, I've scanned the third foot as a pyrrhic.

Other than syllables and scansion, do you think there's a reason behind Shakespeare's choice of the word instrument in this line rather than weapon or implement? However, Shakespeare rarely employs twelve syllables at all in his works.Macbeth study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Macbeth Study Guide Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and very likely, the most reworked of all Shakespeare's plays. It is now assumed that some of the play was actually written by a contemporary of Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, and modern editors have found it necessary to rearranged lines they feel are otherwise disjointed and confusing.

Macbeth, set primarily in Scotland, mixes witchcraft, prophecy, and plombier-nemours.com “Weïrd Sisters” appear to Macbeth and his comrade Banquo after a battle and prophesy that Macbeth will be king and that the descendants of Banquo will also reign.

"Supernatural Soliciting" in Shakespeare H.

An analysis of the use of supernatural in macbeth

M. Doak. The Sewanee Review. Vol There are two methods of using the supernatural in literature. It may be used to work out results impossible to natural agencies, or it may be employed simply as a human belief, becoming a motive power and leading to results reached by purely natural means.

The supernatural is at the very essence of the play. In most of Shakespeare‟s plays, the use of the supernatural is used to give another great effect to the plot of the story. In Macbeth, the supernatural abilities of the three witches and the devilish fiends of lady Macbeth are essential to the plot.

Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Macbeth The supernatural is widely used in Macbeth, and covers major sections of it. It is used to generate interest, and to provoke thought and controversy.

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