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The reason why I choose this topic was my concern to understand the relationship between literary work and Shakespeare’s time. Macbeth is the protagonist of the story, he is a general to King Duncan who is corrupted by ambition and we can see his gradual deterioration toward the death. The historical conditions and the author's life are blended into the elements of this drama. In this time peopleare superstitious, they believed in destiny, this was cause for concern and worry. At the time of the Greeks there was this fear of what life will bring us. The Greeks had the figures of Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, they were the three personifications of destiny. These supernatural beings controlled the thread of life of mortals and any attempt of man to change his fate was worse for him.William Shakespeare consulted several sources on the reign of Macbeth to create his dramatic work, the main one was Chornicles of England, Scotland and Ireland de Holinshed (1599). In this work are the prophecies of the witches. Also we find in this work the murder of Banquo and the subsequent flight of his son, the murder of Lady Macduff and her children. Finally the play ends in the court of Edwardwith the conversation between Macduff and Malcolm. Another passage in the history of Scotland is related to this work, this is the murder of King Duff which is represented almost literally in the death of King Duncan. However, the most interesting is the ability of Shakespeare to change and develop sources and he converted facts and historical data in a brilliant drama.
Moreover, the choice oftopic may have been limited by the likes of King James I of England. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth to be represented in the court of King. James I was very interested in the supernatural themes, and maybe Shakespeare in his play included witches, visions, sleep, ghost, hallucinations and apparitions to make his work more interesting.
Throughout the tragedy Macbeth are depictedabnormal conditions of the mind such as madness, sleepwalking and hallucinations. These supernatural conditions are the result of dramatic events. In the character of Macbeth, there is a gradual change, because, at the beginning of the story he is a good and noble man, but we see how he is turning into a cruel and ruthless tyrant. All mental and psychological conditions that showed Macbeth throughoutthe play were the result of the prophecy of three witches. There are different scenes where we can find the supernatural in the play. Now I would like to identify and explain each one of them.
The first scene of the play corresponds to three witches, supernatural beings which actuate the tragic fall of Macbeth. Shakespeare in his work announces the tragedy through natural phenomena:” In thunder,lightning, or in rain?” In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries people believed that these abrupt changes in time announced catastrophes or some extraordinary event. In the same way they thought that fatalities were caused by a higher entity or gods, who punished mortals.
In another scene we see the witches casting a spell on a man with a storm and cause him to be impotent. The man's wife hadnot given food to one of the witches. “A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap; (…) I will drain him dry as hay: Sleep shall neither night nor day, (…) Look what I have. (1.3.2)” In this century old women who asked for food were considered witches, and if anyone refused to give what they asked, they believed that they would be cursed.
In third quote, Banquo and Macbeth encounter the witches,Banquo doubt about the existence of witches: ” That look not like the inhabitants o the earth,and yet are on’t? Live you? Or are you aught,That man may question? (…)You should be women And yet your beard forbid me to interpret. That you are so. (1.3.1)” The interesting fact of this passage is the Banquo’s confusion about the gender of witches, because they have beards. Shakespeare gives masculine...