Supernatural beings are used to create dramatic emphasis in all forms of literature. Shakespeare uses witches, ghosts, and apparitions in his play, Macbeth, to create this effect. Supernatural beings are effective in provoking a reaction in audiences today, so it is easy to imagine how these specters would have alarmed the people of the Elizabethan era. The population of the Elizabethan era had certain ideas about witches, which the three witches in Macbeth were based upon. The witches added an element of the supernatural to Macbeth, as did the appearance of Banquo’s ghost and the apparitions that emerged at Macbeth’s final rendezvous with the three witches. All of these occurrences created a more dramatic atmosphere of suspense.
The use of the supernatural occurs at the beginning of the play, with three witches predicting the fate of Macbeth. The witches in the story are like prophets, foretelling Macbeth’s future. They seem to enjoy playing with Macbeth’s mind. The witches chant together, “The weird sisters, hand in hand, Posers of the sea and land, Thus do go about ,about, Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine, and thrice again, to make up nine. Peace! The charm’s wound up.” (I, iii, 83-87) The three witches are not well known for producing positive actions and reactions in society. They are capable of leading people into danger resulting in death, such as the sailor who never slept (Act I, Scene III, ll.1-37). “When .
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the battles lost and won” (Act I, Scene I, l.4) is a famous line said by the second witch. It states that every battle is lost by one side and won by another. Macbeth’s fate is that he will win the battle, but will lose his time of victory for the battle of his soul. .
After the prophecies of the witches’ revealed the fate of Macbeth, the plan to gain power of the throne is brought up. The only way to gain power of the throne was for Macbeth to work his way to the throne by murdering King Duncan.