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Supernatural in Shakespeare’s Macbeth – The Naturally Supernatural

The Supernatural in Macbeth

Writers often use supernatural to add suspense and interest to their work. The Witches and ghosts create a sense of horror as well as foreshadow what will happen next. Ghosts and apparitions really took over MacBeth’s emotions and fears. For example in the opening scene witches are used to create an atmosphere of horror and suspense. Later in the scene the ghost of Banquo appears at the dinner table and drives Macbeth mad. His wife try’s to calm him but she can’t and Macbeth has the people at the table getting awfully suspicious. Again we see it when Macbeth saw the dagger, he is seeing things due to guilt. The witches foresaw what happened through the play by telling Macbeth his future as well as Banquo. Ghosts made the audience feel scared the sky black and the wind misty.

Witches in the play did prophecise to Macbeth that he would be king. Macbeth knowing this information became curious, knowing that Duncan was king he wondered how he would acheive the position. So he did indeed kill Duncan under the guidance of the three witches. The witches in this play in terms of ghosts are concerned, we see they are not human or half ways normal when baquo quotes to Macbeth that are not human like as well as irregular in some sort and very unattractive. This leaves a feeling of darkness for example the sky is black and the grass is gray instead of green the branches on the tress are short and rotting. The witches were Macbeth’s fortune tellers but they lead him a bad life In the end.

Ghosts and apparitions not only drove Macbeth to his grave but also gave him up. When he kills Duncan there is a sense of real guilt. We see him going crazy and feeling extreme guilt when immediately after he kills him he sais to his wife what a sorry sight and she tells him to stop worrying about Duncan and to get on with his life. She also tells him to stop being a coward, and that killing was the only option. In actuality it is not because a murder will never stay secret. Ghosts were a big factor in this play but guilt plays a part as well, a much bigger part. Guilt led to the witnessing of ghosts. For example when Macbeth hosts the dinner he witnesses baquo’s ghost this has an affect of pity for Macbeth as far as the audience is concerned, Macbeth himself from guilt is going crazy.

Integrity in Jean Anouilh’s Antigone

Integrity in Jean Anouilh’s Antigone

The distinctions between young and old, naïve and wise are very clear. There is a fiery passion for life often embedded in the young, and a sense of bittersweet reflection set in the aged. The age gap between the two is often a cause for conflict. The young want to hurry up and live only to eventually die; the old want to slow down their rate of living and postpone death. With such divergent circumstances, conflicts are almost impossible to avoid. The question of how one can grow old while keeping youthful idealism and integrity seems to be the source of most conflicts. Jean Anouilh, in his version of the Greek classic play Antigone, firmly captures and reflects the disparity between old and young through the use of the characters of Antigone and Creon.

The play opens, after the introduction by Chorus, with Antigone rushing in from a night that the audience can take only to be a night of living fully. She describes her nocturnal adventures with detail, proclaiming excitedly that she had been out enjoying the world as it lay untouched before morning. “The whole world was breathless, waiting,” she tells the Nurse (7). She evades the questions put to her by the Nurse, and it becomes apparent to the audience that she has been out doing something she should not have been. This in itself immediately presents Antigone as a girl who wants to live at all costs. It seems that living, to her, means breaking rules and seeking out danger. When Antigone’s sister Ismene enters the play, the audience is given the explanation for Antigone’s breathless nighttime escapades. The Nurse exits, allowing the girls to talk, and Ismene begins to speak of the possibility of a death sentence being issued for the two of them.

Creon, the king and their uncle, issued an edict to the people of Thebes that the rebel Polynices, brother to Ismene and Antigone, should not be buried on pain of death. Antigone explains in what seems to be a rational tone that she and Ismene are bound, as by duty, to bury Polynices and face the execution. She makes it clear to Ismene that there are no two ways about it. “That’s the way it is. What do you think we can do to change it?” she says (11). She also tells Ismene that she is not eager to die, but it seems to the audience otherwise throughout the progression of the play.

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