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Analysis Of William Shakespeare's Macbeth And Its Historical Background

1738 words - 7 pages

Analysis of William Shakespeare's Macbeth and Its Historical Background

I have recently been studying 'Macbeth', a well-known play by William
Shakespeare. In this essay I am going to analyse the play and its
historical background. I will also look at the factors that influenced
Shakespeare when he was writing the play such as James I, the new king
of England and Scotland, how he detested witches, and how Shakespeare
manipulated that knowledge. Furthermore, I will be examining the
character Macbeth and what his motive to murder King Duncan was, and
why he committed all of his evil deeds. Moreover, I shall write about
what Shakespeare was trying to get ...view middle of the document...

then used the play to warn people that plotting against the King
always ended in disaster and that nobody should do it. Shakespeare
acquired the idea of Macbeth from Scottish history, but there was a
problem. James believed Banquo to be one of his ancestors. In real
life Banquo was an evil man and assisted in the murder of Duncan.
However, as James thought that Banquo was one of his ancestors,
Shakespeare had to transform Banquo into a likeable character to avoid
angering James or displease him in any way. Shakespeare used the play
to show that terrible things happen when a rightful king is murdered,
because he knew that James thought that kings were chosen by God to
have the right to rule - 'The Divine Right of Kings.'

Shakespeare must have consciously set out to write a play that would
please King James I. Evidence shows that Shakespeare succeeded and
James approved of the play. This led to Shakespeare's theatre company
becoming more successful and popular, which led to Shakespeare
becoming a wealthy businessman. Shakespeare enjoyed writing plays and
was strongly interested in what drove people to commit evil acts and
crimes. I think that 'Macbeth' demonstrates how somebody can
jeopardize everything for the sake of greed and risk their reputation
to achieve their ambition.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a real hero and great warrior
because of the great victory over the Norwegians.Of which he led King
Duncan's army to complete success against irrepressible numbers. He
also fought against the rebel Macdonwald who had a major advantage of
reinforcements from Ireland and the Hebrides. Macbeth had no intention
of murdering King Duncan at the beginning of the play. It was only
after he saw the witches and wrote to Lady Macbeth, explaining the
premonitions (the first one became true almost immediately), that
Macbeth started to believe the prediction that he could be king could
become true. Duncan praises him and calls him "Nobel Macbeth! Valiant
cousin!" Ross calls him "Bellona's bridegroom," a compliment which
means that he is brave enough to be the husband of the goddess of war
herself. Even Macbeth realises he has received 'golden opinons' from
all kinds of people because of his courage and skill in battle.

Macbeth was considered to be a great hero and a brave warrior, so why
did he risk everything by murdering King Duncan and what led him to do

Macbeth had a great ambition to become King but he had never told
anyone except Lady Macbeth. When Macbeth met 'the weird sisters' who
told him that he was to be King, he then wrote a letter to Lady
Macbeth describing the premonitions that 'the weird sisters' had told
him. It was almost as if the weird sisters had read his mind and knew
about his secret ambition to become King. After being told this

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