Compare how the writers present evil and villainy in Macbeth and the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The author of the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is called Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson’s novel adds some aspects of madness and mystery though mostly evil and villainy which was in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. These themes are the same in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In the beginning Macbeth was a good hero however he became overly ambition as a result of the three witches’ prophecy.
“The words of the witches are fatal to the hero only because there is something in him which leaps at the sound of them; but they are at the same time the witness of forces which never cease to work in the world around him, and, on the instant of his surrender to them, entangle him inextricably in the web of Fate.” (AC Bradley) Discuss whether fate and the supernatural are to blame for Macbeth's tragic downfall Shakespeare's protagonist's whose fate is inextricably interwoven with the dark supernatural world of the Weird Sisters. This links to the Aristotelian view of tragedy; “as is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions” (Poetics- Book 6.2). Indeed, this “metaphysical aid” is blamed for Macbeth’s tragic fall as, immediately presented to us in the play's eerie, tempestuous opening, they declare, “there to meet with Macbeth.” This would have elicited responses of “horrified sympathy and awe,” from the audience as the Witches’ dialogue suggests that they are singling him; mere mortal in whose life they intend to meddle. This makes him a tragic hero, who suffers at the hands of fate, and has little control over his destiny. That said, the playwright's juxtaposition of the supernatural with the initial portrayal of an individual at his highest peak firmly establishes the protagonist as “traditionally” heroic.
Hamlet – Shakespeare’s use of the supernatural to enhance and shape the tragic world of Elsinore The supernatural is something of a keystone in directing the tragic events of the play; Shakespeare employs its over shadowing presence as a device to explore the terrifying world of the unseen, the untouchable and the unknowable. In Act 1 Scene 1, uncertainty and insecurity are crucial elements in the building of tension and the foreshadowing of disaster. The play even begins with a question: “Who’s there?” Bernardo’s terror of what he cannot see or touch, even in the most mundane sense, is deeply significant in this private environment (the battlements) where fears and uncertainties fester and grow without the need to present a picture of poise in the face of the comforting known; Shakespeare’s juxtapositioning of the inherently public court in the following scene serves to emphasise this and undermine the illusion of order presented in the court. The opening scene progresses until the source of the tension becomes evident: a “thing”, a “dreaded sight”, an “apparition”, an “illusion”, an “erring spirit”; Shakespeare’s use of tautology and refusal to call it ‘Ghost’ shapes our understanding of the supernatural: that we do not understand it and its definition is embedded in the perception of each character on stage. Shakespeare’s elusive language also relates to the issue of the morality of this ghost: J.A.
The Role of Equivocation in the Play “That palter with us in a double sense,/ That keep the word of promise to our ear/ And break it to our hope” (5.8. 20-22). Equivocation is a common form in drama and is used to mislead others with ambiguous expressions. In Macbeth, equivocation appears to show a way of protecting others, to effectively display the evil actions of the witches and to cause violence and death that finally leads to the tragedy. Initially, equivocation is sometimes a method of protection.
The tragedy in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is the result of both his own character and external forces acting on him. The tragic downfall of Macbeth was not determined by one single cause but rather caused by a combination of three dark forces: supernatural, external and internal. The three witches and their dark powers represent the supernatural forces. Lady Macbeth acts as Macbeth’s external force, pushing him towards the bloody deeds. Macbeth’s own ambition and inner desires are the internal forces he battles and they act as the deciding power in bringing him to his downfall.
Everyone has a slightly different interpretation of the supernatural but the interpretation which we can start with is Shakespeare’s. Everyone of Shakespeare’s time found the supernatural fascinating. Shakespeare interpreted the supernatural as witches, magic, unnatural and evil and he expressed his beliefs in the play, “Macbeth” very clearly, as he portrayed the three deformed women with control over the weather and the ability to predict the future. These three evil witches with magical powers were the creation of Shakespeare’s interpretation of the supernatural. Shakespeare’s contemporaries believed in the supernatural very strongly and a majority of them were frightened of it, including the king of that time, King James I of England.
Act 1, Scene 1 is set in an ominous atmosphere of thunder and lightning. This pathetic fallacy is associated with terrible happenings which suggest that the witches are not to be trusted. Shakespeare’s audience would have appreciated this as the belief in the existence and power of witches was widely believed and demonstrated by the European witch phobia, during which an estimated nine million women were convicted. They use many ambiguous terms, for example, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (line 12). This suggests reversal of normal order and unbalance, which lead
The witches thunder and lightning, the reference to the “hurlyburly”, the calling out to Graymalkin and Paddock, create a sinister atmosphere. Macbeth’s name is mentioned as they soon wish to tell him the prophecy of him becoming King which leads to the murder of Duncan “There to meet with Macbeth.” Act 1 Scene 3 connects the witches’ power of evil with Macbeth and the
The witches are possibly linked as the “charms” seem to influence Macbeth and he begins to echo “foul and fair”. Whenever Macbeth seems at his most inhumane he uses rhyming couplets for example, “knell that summons…to heaven…hell” is used before killing Duncan in act 2 and “fight…heaven…find it out to-night” before killing Banquo in act 3.
The third witch says, ‘There to meet Macbeth’, this intertwining of Macbeth reflects the relationship which will be made between him and the witches, and the evil which is going to be involved in Macbeth’s life. The arrangement of meeting place shows their target for the forces of evil, and their thorough planning of making an appointment to lure Macbeth to destruction. This scene symbolises the witches as a representation for temptation, therefore foreshadowing Macbeth’s potential human weakness to be susceptible to temptation, before we are even introduced to Macbeth himself. Shakespeare presents Macbeths character as brave and fearless in Scene 2; without Macbeth being present. “Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’chaps and fixed his head upon our battlements”, this quotation is said by the captain, who is commending Macbeth for defeating the leader of the rebel army.