Macbeth was William Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy that was first performed in 1606. Shakespeare’s plays often include the use of magic and supernatural powers. These elements played a crucial role in gaining audience interests. Just like Hamlet and the Tempest, the story of Macbeth is also filled with supernatural and magical components that produce a dramatic intrigue to the story. The full name of the play was “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. Macbeth was a Scottish general who fought many remarkable battles for his King Duncan.
Macbeth was also known as the Thane of Glamis. After winning one of the battles, he encountered three witches who told Macbeth that he could become the king of Scotland. These three witches were also known as the “weird sisters” and they possess supernatural powers. They were extremely wicked by nature and can easily play with human emotions and weaknesses. The witches realised that deep down in his mind Macbeth had an ambition to become the King of Scotland. Now it was simply a matter of giving Macbeth a push to his ambition. They made Macbeth a prophecy that if he could murder King Duncan, he could become the king of Scotland. Soon, Macbeth was consumed by this idea. His wife also joined him and both of them murdered the king and took the throne for themselves.
Though Macbeth had acquired the throne of Scotland, he still had enemies who knew his secret. One of them was Banquo and his son Fleance. He arranged to murder them both. However, he was only able to kill Banquo while Fleance escaped the attack. Macbeth was relieved and threw a party. But at the same party Macbeth saw Banquo’s ghost. Frightened by the ghostly images Macbeth ran for the witches where he discovered that he has more enemies namely Macduff and Malcolm who were preparing an attack on Macbeth for his sins and evil doings. Since Macbeth became the king of Scotland there were widespread murders to hide his dark secret. Macbeth also killed Macduff’s wife and children in order to weaken Macduff. But this made Macduff’s determination even stronger and filled with revenge he raised an army with the help of Malcolm in England. Both of them attacked Macbeth, and finally won the battle over him. Macbeth and his wife got killed in the battle and there was peace all over the kingdom.
The story of Macbeth in theatres is often associated with a curse. Prominent actors and others in the theatre industry consider it bad luck and avoid mentioning Macbeth by name and refer to it as “The Scottish Play” or “MacBee”. The character is indirectly referred to as “Mr. And Mrs. M” or “The Scottish King”.
It is believed that Shakespeare has used spells of real witches in his writings of Macbeth. Therefore, to say the name of Macbeth inside the theatres leads to accidents that have in the past, caused physical injuries or deaths to the cast members. However, the story of Macbeth has been continuously in production since the 1660s with many commercial movies and plays released.
Like many other themes, magic and supernatural elements play a large role in many of Shakespeare’s works. The use of magic interests the audience, plays to the imagination, and adds dramatic intrigue to the story, even when the rest of the plot is composed of believable events.