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Shakespeare's Influence On The Audience's Opinion Of Macbeth In The Play

3163 words - 13 pages

Shakespeare's Influence on the Audience's Opinion of Macbeth in the Play

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most terrifying tragedies. It centres
around two main characters Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth. It tell
us of Macbeth rise to power as King of Scotland, by murdering the
current King Duncan I, after three witches forewarn him of his coming
of power. He then seeks to secure his position; by killing anyone who
threatens him, for instance Banquo, because the three witches, also
told Macbeth that Banquo's children will be kings. Duncan's son
Malcolm, who fled to England, after his father death, returns with the
English army, including the noble Macduff, who later slays Macbeth.

Macbeth at the beginning of the play starts off as a great general
returning home after a victorious battle, but after his encounter with
the witches, evil and ambition slowly starts to take its grip, even
though, throughout the play we see the struggle Macbeth has with his

Macbeth was first performed in 1606. It reflects many of the beliefs
of the time. The King on the throne at the time was James I of
Scotland and England. He inherited the English throne of his cousin
Queen Elizabeth I, after her death in 1603. James I, it has been
suggested, was not a good King. He drank too much, had a temper, and
had a debauched lifestyle, and he loved hunting. However, he was
intelligent, and took part in debates, and published books on
political theory. The presence of the supernatural in Macbeth maybe
due to the fact that James I, who the play was written for, also had
an interest in the supernatural, and the hunting of witches.

Witches have been around from the beginning of human drama, and have
fascinated Europe for over a thousand years. Witchcraft and the fear
of new ideas, started during the Renaissance. Once Christianity had
started, people put witches in league with the Devil, believing they
were his servants on earth. People started to become more scared by
witches, and when Elizabeth Sawyer, was put on trial for witchcraft,
in 1621 it was a common thing. In Shakespeare's day, the threat of the
Black Death was sweeping across Europe, and Puritan influences, led
more people to believe in witches. The puritans wished to purify the
English church of its pomp and ritual. They lived their lives
according to the bible, and dressed in simple clothes. They were
responsible for the closing down of many theatres. People, including
James I went on witch-hunts to perform "social-cleansing."

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, and baptized on
the 26 April 1564. We do not know when Shakespeare was born, though
many people believe it was the 23 April 1564, but we are not sure. His
mother was called Mary Arden, and his father was John Shakespeare,
they married in about 1556....

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