A Reflection Upon Macbeth

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A Reflection Upon Macbeth Introduction For this English assignment I am going to write about William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth”. Through this essay I am hoping that I will be able to comment upon many things about the story of Macbeth, for example the actions of the characters. I will only be monitoring two of the scenes, these are Act 1 scene 3 and Act 4 Scene 1 as I see these as the most influential scenes in the play and they each show how the play is progressing and the changes in the characters as the story is unfolding. They are also the scenes which feature the witches. Macbeth was first performed in 1606, early in the reign of king James I, who had succeeded queen Elizabeth, and during the time the theatre was becoming more popular between all the different ‘classes’. The play would be performed in front of a crowd who, if they did not like the play, would walk out and leave. The play was performed by men only because of the Elizabethan beliefs of women’s roles in society. Elizabethan Beliefs The Elizabethans believed that witches were evil and they were seen as being the devil on earth, all Elizabethans that would see this play thought this and would, when they saw the witches, automatically dislike the witches. In the play Shakespeare presents the witches as evil, unpleasant characters throughout the whole play. It is ultimately they who are responsible for the killing spree that Macbeth embarks upon, as it was they who planted the idea that he may one day become king. This raging ambition led the once noble Macbeth to murder king Duncan, and then to brutally kill many other innocent people in a bid t... ... middle of paper ... .... The story is an old classic play and to this day is still used often by groups of people to act out and because of the betrayal, evil witches and death I feel that this play will never become overused and un-interesting. The beliefs of the Elizabethan people are shown immensely all through the play, all of which are now believed to be stupid folk stories used to scare the people of the time into using the church. The play was first performed in 1606 when King James the first was crowned king and at the time there was the same belief that James had taken the thrown in the same way as Macbeth did in the play which kept the audiences interested. So to conclude this essay, this play shows Elizabethan beliefs about witches and shows just how strongly they felt regarding witches powers amongst other things.
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