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History Compared To Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Macbeth

847 words - 3 pages

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a hyperbole based off of real history, as the story is compared with real history there are many similarities and many differences. Macbeth was written between 1603 and 1607 but is commonly dated 1606. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who was James VI of Scotland before he became King of England.
History Compared to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There are many variations and similarities between the real history of King Duncan I of Scotland and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. According to historians, Lady Macbeth did not aid Macbeth in Duncan’s murder. “Macbeth formed an alliance with his cousin the Earl of Orkney, and together they defeated and killed Duncan near Forres in 1040” (Gate Keep Key). Yet, in the drama Macbeth, Macbeth killed Duncan in his castle in Cawdor with the aid of Lady Macbeth. “O, never shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters. To beguile the time, Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue: look the innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t. He that’s coming must be provided for: and you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom” (I, v, 60-70).
Shakespeare made many alterations to historical Macbeth in order to make the drama more interesting. Macbeth was not upset after Duncan took reign. “Macbeth was not immediately hostile to the new king, but several years into Duncan’s reign he raised an army and openly opposed the monarch. Duncan led his own forces against Macbeth and was killed in the ensuing battle” (West Iron). According to Shakespeare, Macbeth was immediately thinking of ways to become king and ways to claim the throne. “[Aside] Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor: the greatest is behind. Thanks for your pains. Do you not hope your children shall be kinds, when those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me promised no less to them?” (I, iii, 117-119). Macbeth was not Thane of Glamis or Thane of Cawdor, he was in actuality Mormaer of Moray. “Macbeth, the Mormaer of Moray, claimed the throne of his own behalf and that of his wife Grauch…” (Gate Key Keep). According to Shakespeare, Macbeth was Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor. “Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor…” (I, iii, 117). Historians also say that with the support of Earl Siward, Malcom led an army against Macbeth, defeating him. “In 1054 with the support of Earl Siward, he led an army against Macbeth, defeating him at the battle of Dunsinnan. Macbeth remained king, restoring Malcom’s lands to him.” (Gate Key Keep). Shakespeare’s Macbeth and historic Macbeth exhibits...

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