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Starting with this monologue, explain how far you think Shakespeare presents the theme of the supernatural in Macbeth.
Write about:
• how Shakespeare presents the theme of the supernatural in this scene.
• how Shakespeare presents the theme of the supernatural in the play as a whole


Shakespeare presents Hecate as the supreme witch in Macbeth. It is during her monologue in Act III, Scene iv, where her power becomes known. While the witches have shown Macbeth their prophecy, and it has come true, Hecate knows even more. She knows that Macbeth will return to ask the witches about his future with the crown. Hecate's supernatural spite is intended to echo that of the human dimension. She is a ruthless female spirit, whose forceful demands to the Witches reflect the language of Lady Macbeth to her husband, Macbeth. Therefore, whilst the theme of supernatural does run through her monologue I agree with this statement to some extent. The main reason for this is because the theme of fate is conveyed not only in this scene but also the play as a whole. In the closing lines of the soliloquy, Hecate states:

His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace and fear:/ And you all know security/ Is mortals' chiefest enemy. (III, V,76-78)

Here, Hecate speaks of the fact that a man secure in his future is one who does not fear. She plans to give Macbeth false security, which is a man’s worst enemy because it makes him complacent and he may become unguarded in his actions. That being said, Hecate's monologue illustrates the theme of fate that is intertwined throughout Macbeth. She, only, knows the true fate of what is to come. Macbeth has seen what he believes to be his fate or destiny-as provided by the witches' first prophecy. Unfortunately, fate, itself, is proved to be far more superior than the trust in fate alone. However, unlike Banquo, Macbeth acts: he kills Duncan. Macbeth tries to master fate, to make fate adapt to exactly what he wants. But, of course, fate doesn't work that way. By trying to master fate once, Macbeth puts himself in the position of having to master fate always. At every instant, he has to struggle against those parts of the witches' prophecies that don't favour him. Ultimately, Macbeth becomes so obsessed with his fate that he becomes delusional: he becomes unable to see the half-truths behind the witches' prophecies. Hecate then uses this weakness against him, leading to the downfall of Macbeth.

Nevertheless, the theme of the supernatural is represented by Shakespeare through Hecates rhyming couplets during her monologue. This is just alike the witches and shows that they are the “offspring” off Hecate. She is more evil and supernatural than the witches. Likewise, Hecate exclaims that she’s the "mistress" of the witches and that she’s the reason they have their powers. Alternatively, She shows off her powers. Shakespeare emphasizes her evil and controlling nature, though the Ancient Greeks regarded her as good-natured. Many later Christian writers saw Hecate as evil; a pawn of Satan due to her witchcraft.

To add on, as Hecate foreshadows Macbeth's future when he begins to "spurn fate, scold death", she uses triplets In the two lines. This could be a reference with the number 3 and specifically, the three witches. Moreover, the number 3 is an odd number; this could connote that they’re abnormal and inhuman. This is similar to Act 2 scene 1 in Macbeth's monologue when he exclaims that "Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate's offerings, and withered murder, Alarmed by his sentinel, the wolf." This implies that he is associating the idea of murder as an "offering" to Hecate the goddess of witchcraft. He wants to be quiet and prays to the earth that he is not heard because he fears "thy very stones prate of my whereabouts." When he hears a bell, he feels it is a funeral bell and is tolling for Duncan "that summons thee to heaven or to hell." This rhyming language sounds similar to a witches' chant and creates an ominous atmosphere. The entire speech shows Macbeth's' increasing insanity, seeing visions and talking of witchcraft and associating the sound of the bell with a funeral.
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Jennajane123
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(Original post by actinglover)
Starting with this monologue, explain how far you think Shakespeare presents the theme of the supernatural in Macbeth.
Write about:
• how Shakespeare presents the theme of the supernatural in this scene.
• how Shakespeare presents the theme of the supernatural in the play as a whole


Shakespeare presents Hecate as the supreme witch in Macbeth. It is during her monologue in Act III, Scene iv, where her power becomes known. While the witches have shown Macbeth their prophecy, and it has come true, Hecate knows even more. She knows that Macbeth will return to ask the witches about his future with the crown. Hecate's supernatural spite is intended to echo that of the human dimension. She is a ruthless female spirit, whose forceful demands to the Witches reflect the language of Lady Macbeth to her husband, Macbeth. Therefore, whilst the theme of supernatural does run through her monologue I agree with this statement to some extent. The main reason for this is because the theme of fate is conveyed not only in this scene but also the play as a whole. In the closing lines of the soliloquy, Hecate states:

His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace and fear:/ And you all know security/ Is mortals' chiefest enemy. (III, V,76-78)

Here, Hecate speaks of the fact that a man secure in his future is one who does not fear. She plans to give Macbeth false security, which is a man’s worst enemy because it makes him complacent and he may become unguarded in his actions. That being said, Hecate's monologue illustrates the theme of fate that is intertwined throughout Macbeth. She, only, knows the true fate of what is to come. Macbeth has seen what he believes to be his fate or destiny-as provided by the witches' first prophecy. Unfortunately, fate, itself, is proved to be far more superior than the trust in fate alone. However, unlike Banquo, Macbeth acts: he kills Duncan. Macbeth tries to master fate, to make fate adapt to exactly what he wants. But, of course, fate doesn't work that way. By trying to master fate once, Macbeth puts himself in the position of having to master fate always. At every instant, he has to struggle against those parts of the witches' prophecies that don't favour him. Ultimately, Macbeth becomes so obsessed with his fate that he becomes delusional: he becomes unable to see the half-truths behind the witches' prophecies. Hecate then uses this weakness against him, leading to the downfall of Macbeth.

Nevertheless, the theme of the supernatural is represented by Shakespeare through Hecates rhyming couplets during her monologue. This is just alike the witches and shows that they are the “offspring” off Hecate. She is more evil and supernatural than the witches. Likewise, Hecate exclaims that she’s the "mistress" of the witches and that she’s the reason they have their powers. Alternatively, She shows off her powers. Shakespeare emphasizes her evil and controlling nature, though the Ancient Greeks regarded her as good-natured. Many later Christian writers saw Hecate as evil; a pawn of Satan due to her witchcraft.

To add on, as Hecate foreshadows Macbeth's future when he begins to "spurn fate, scold death", she uses triplets In the two lines. This could be a reference with the number 3 and specifically, the three witches. Moreover, the number 3 is an odd number; this could connote that they’re abnormal and inhuman. This is similar to Act 2 scene 1 in Macbeth's monologue when he exclaims that "Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate's offerings, and withered murder, Alarmed by his sentinel, the wolf." This implies that he is associating the idea of murder as an "offering" to Hecate the goddess of witchcraft. He wants to be quiet and prays to the earth that he is not heard because he fears "thy very stones prate of my whereabouts." When he hears a bell, he feels it is a funeral bell and is tolling for Duncan "that summons thee to heaven or to hell." This rhyming language sounds similar to a witches' chant and creates an ominous atmosphere. The entire speech shows Macbeth's' increasing insanity, seeing visions and talking of witchcraft and associating the sound of the bell with a funeral.
Sorry I'm going to be quite harsh whilst marking an essay because I do not want to overmark you. It would be better for me to undermark you and you improving it rather than overmark you and you not improving it.

Firstly, the introduction is decent. However, in order to improve this I believe that you should be very concise because an introduction acts as a foundation to your argument. So, your aim is to impress the examiner that is marking your paper. In order to do that, you need to answer the question. In this case, it's the 'theme of supernatural'. Also, you also have to include the playwriters purpose. This introduction should be about 3-4 sentence long.

Your paragraphs should be structured. And I don't mean following a PEEL or PEEEL structure. What I mean is it's imbalanced to an extent. You should have 3 body paragraphs which answer all AO's to get the highest possible marks. You touched upon the Ancient Greeks and Christian views but you haven't expanded. If you have expanded then you could of fully reached AO3. Additionally, you should explore the theme of supernatural further through other characters, not just Hectate so that it displays that you are exploring the theme at a higher level.
In your last paragraph, you have littered it with quotes without expanding it which makes your point weak. Also, you need a mini conclusion summing up your stormiest point otherwise it makes your argument in your essay invalid.

So for all those reasons, I will probably give it 18 or 19 out of 30. You have the potential to reach the higher band if you make certain changes like having intro, 3 body paragraphs and mini conclusion with concise points and quotes fully analysed and explored.

If you need any gcse help for Macbeth, I have all the resources.
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hijabibubbles
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ohhhh wowww.. and I thought I did decent hahahaha. Nahh i'm just joking but thanks so much for the feedback! If I need any resources I will definitely ask for the help!

Thanks so much!

(Original post by Jennajane123)
Sorry I'm going to be quite harsh whilst marking an essay because I do not want to overmark you. It would be better for me to undermark you and you improving it rather than overmark you and you not improving it.

Firstly, the introduction is decent. However, in order to improve this I believe that you should be very concise because an introduction acts as a foundation to your argument. So, your aim is to impress the examiner that is marking your paper. In order to do that, you need to answer the question. In this case, it's the 'theme of supernatural'. Also, you also have to include the playwriters purpose. This introduction should be about 3-4 sentence long.

Your paragraphs should be structured. And I don't mean following a PEEL or PEEEL structure. What I mean is it's imbalanced to an extent. You should have 3 body paragraphs which answer all AO's to get the highest possible marks. You touched upon the Ancient Greeks and Christian views but you haven't expanded. If you have expanded then you could of fully reached AO3. Additionally, you should explore the theme of supernatural further through other characters, not just Hectate so that it displays that you are exploring the theme at a higher level.
In your last paragraph, you have littered it with quotes without expanding it which makes your point weak. Also, you need a mini conclusion summing up your stormiest point otherwise it makes your argument in your essay invalid.

So for all those reasons, I will probably give it 18 or 19 out of 30. You have the potential to reach the higher band if you make certain changes like having intro, 3 body paragraphs and mini conclusion with concise points and quotes fully analysed and explored.

If you need any gcse help for Macbeth, I have all the resources
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LG1234567
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Hi, I’m probably going to be quite harsh as well (sorry)
- I definitely think that just focusing on Hecate will loose you some marks as she is a very minor character, you should maybe be one or two paragraph of the witches and another on how supernatural in presented in the whole of the play, such as the dagger scene or banquo’s ghost.
- also you need to add some more context, you should analyse further on Hecate as the Ancient Greek goddess or magic and crossroads, and how thief equivocation that lead to the Macbeth’s death.
- finally I’d say If you are going to bring in Hecate as a pawn of Satan definitely much more you could say about that ( think the porter scene, Macbeth’s servant called Seyton, link to Macbeth as devil and Duncan as a godly figure and how the witches lead to this).
I’d probably agree and give you around 20/30
Hope this helps!
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hijabibubbles
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Its fine! I'd rather be marked harsher now so I can maximise my marks during the GCSE's

(Original post by LG1234567)
Hi, I’m probably going to be quite harsh as well (sorry)
- I definitely think that just focusing on Hecate will loose you some marks as she is a very minor character, you should maybe be one or two paragraph of the witches and another on how supernatural in presented in the whole of the play, such as the dagger scene or banquo’s ghost.
- also you need to add some more context, you should analyse further on Hecate as the Ancient Greek goddess or magic and crossroads, and how thief equivocation that lead to the Macbeth’s death.
- finally I’d say If you are going to bring in Hecate as a pawn of Satan definitely much more you could say about that ( think the porter scene, Macbeth’s servant called Seyton, link to Macbeth as devil and Duncan as a godly figure and how the witches lead to this).
I’d probably agree and give you around 20/30
Hope this helps!
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