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Read the following extract from Act 1 Scene 3 of Macbeth and then answer the question
At this point in the play, after receiving The Witches’ prophecies, Macbeth and Banquo
have just been told that Duncan has made Macbeth Thane of Cawdor.
But ’tis strange,
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s
In deepest consequence. –
Cousins, a word, I pray you.
Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme. – I thank you, gentlemen. –
This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion,
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man that function
Is smothered in surmise, and nothing is,
But what is not.
0 1 Starting with this moment in the play, explore how Shakespeare presents the attitudes of
Macbeth and Banquo towards the supernatural.
Shakespeare presents the two characters of Macbeth and Banquo highlight the contrast between of emotions of seeing the supernatural. Shakespeare wants to show the havoc that the supernatural could cause to a character and lead to their demise- like Macbeth. This extract will cover the attitudes to ma Macbeth en banc word to the supernatural.
At the start Banquo is quite cautious about the witches from act one scene 3 where Macbeth and Banquo return from battle the witches tell Macbeth that he will come King unvanquished descenders will become Kings Banco describes them as instruments of darkness tell us truth to betray Banquo describes the witches as instruments of darkness to describe if it if it is like instruments- we engage with the witches which will make music however that tune is from darkness suggesting it will be from evil, Shakespeare at this point of the text suggest bank was rational establishing Banquo was cautious in terms of the supernatural.
Simile to banker magazine Macbeth deems the witches are suspicious he describes the witches as feed meaning that the witches unusual characteristics Shakespeare curiosity, he wants to imply how he may engage with the supernatural in later parts of the play. Shakespeare that presents the dagger through Macbeths visions in which he says is this a dagger I see before me? Shakespeare now wants to imply that the supernatural as evil as now the supernatural is moving him to kill the King this was shocked the Jacobean audience as naturally he wants to kill the King which have the protection under the great chain of being this further shows the power of the supernatural on Macbeth.
Macbeth then starts to distrust the witches as well he begins to doubt the equivocation of defined Macbeth is now starting to distrust the witches as they have betrayed him Macbeths no attitude is criticised here Shakespeare wants to emphasise Jacobeanshay should not increase engage with evil.