Consider pathetic fallacy to generate the sense of
Consider the ways in which the play writes explore the supernatural in the opening scene of Macbeth and Dr Faustus.
The supernatural is a powerful theme that continuously appears throughout the opening scenes of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth ‘and Marlowe’s ‘Dr Faustus’. Incessantly throughout the opening scenes the supernatural is used as a way of injecting suspense, horror and suspicion in to the play and aid in the arousal of the audience’s imagination. In Macbeth the idea of the supernatural is introduced to the audience immediately, as Shakespeare opens the scene opens with three witches.During the time that Macbeth was written the idea and belief that witches truly existed would have been taken extremely seriously by Shakespeare’s audience as witches were thought to be real beings.
Using witches in the opening scene automatically creates an atmosphere and allows the audience to recognize that the play that they are about to watch is going to have a dark, mystifying and frightening feel to it, as witches are commonly associated as evil creatures. Shakespeare also uses pathetic fallacy to generate the sense of the supernatural. Thunder and lightning”, this device is also used as a way to establish the ambience of the opening scene. Setting the scene early on in the opening of the play allows the audience to become aware that the tone of the opening scene is going to be fairly serious and sinister, which enables the audience to immerse themselves entirely in the play.
The use of pathetic fallacy in the opening scene also enhances the idea that witches are evil beings as both the description of the weather and the pre conceived ideas that Shakespeare’s audience would have had about witches portray extremely negative connotations.In contrast to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Marlowe uses the idea of the supernatural in the opening scene of Dr Faustus in a much more positive way. In the opening scene Marlowe uses a soliloquy to introduce the thoughts and views of Faustus to the audience, throughout which the audience is made aware that the character of Faustus sees and believes that magic, should be seen as the highest most desirable form in intelligence. “A sound magician is a mighty God”.
As religion was an extremely important part of life in Marlowe’s era comparing the supernatural to God could give the audience the impression that magic is actually a good thing compared with the preconceptions that Marlowe’s audience would have had about the supernatural. However from the audience’s perspective that at the time would have seen magic, necromancy and the supernatural in a very negative light could have immediately associated Dr Faustus with evil, which would have allowed the audience to realize that the nature of the play that they are going to watch is not one of goodness, but one with a dark, gothic theme.