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Word Count: 576
Supernatural Forces in Macbeth In the play Macbeth there were many parts where Shakespeare emphasized Britains attitude toward the supernatural belief of witches Some of which are totally exaggerated from the Wicca religion only because they do a lot of weird and different customs That is not normal to the average person of seventeenth century society or any century for that matter In the modern world witchcraft is a form of nature religion also called Wicca that emphasizes the healing arts The term is also applied to various kinds of magic practiced in Asian African and Latin American communities Witchcraft sorcery and simple spell casting are as ancient as humankind there is some evidence from cave markings that Paleolithic man indulged in it It is also universal African tribesmen chanted much of the same invocations as the witches in Shakespeares Macbeth McAlindon 206 The belief in the existence and power of witches was widely believed in Shakespeares day as demonstrated by the European witch craze during which an estimated nine million women were put to death for being perceived as witches Stallybrass 198 The practice of witchcraft was seen to subvert the established order of religion and society and hence was not tolerated Witch hunting was a respectable moral and highly intellectual pursuit through much of the fifteenth sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Best The belief of the majority during the seventeenth century suggests that the witches are powerful figures who can exercise great power over Macbeth however strong arguments to the contrary were in existence at the same time The intensity of the tragedy is dependent on whether the witches are perceived to be able to control the otherwise innocent Macbeths actions or if he is entirely responsible for his own demise Although not a secret black and midnight hag Shakespeare 4148 as an evil female Lady Macbeth could be considered a witch according to the standards of Shakespeares
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