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Discussion of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Powerful Essays
Discussion of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Written around 1606, 'Macbeth' is regarded as a generous tribute to

the current monarch at the time, King James I. In 1603, the first year

of his reign , King James privileged Shakespeare's theatre company,

above all others, to be the King's Men. Shakespeare's theatre company

was extremely honoured by the title and 'Macbeth' was written in an

attempt at expressing Shakespeare's gratitude.

Before he was King James I of England, he was King James VI of

Scotland. Therefore, as a tribute play it would make sense to set the

play in Scotland. It also seems appropriate that this play features

witches and witchcraft. King James loathed witches and women, so

Shakespeare displayed negative images of women, through the three

witches and Lady Macbeth, mainly by illustrating their ability to

control and manipulate men.

Regicide and political murders are crucial to this play, so are they

prominent in the life of King James too as a serious attempt at his

life was taken in 1605 with Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot, to blow up the

Parliament with King James inside it. The play would also appeal to

the society at the time as there was anxiety about killing the King.

Shakespeare also explores the topic of kingship and loyalty. They were

of great importance to King James. His father, Lord Darnley was

murdered and his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, had been executed as a

traitor. Hence, inquiries of the role of a monarch were always on his

mind.

Other possible intentions include showing the fight between good and

evil, showing the relationships between humans and the supernatural,

exploring the psych...

... middle of paper ...

...h argued the prose and cons of treason he

commented, 'we but teach…bloody instructions, which, being taught,

return…to plague th'inventor".

We now know this has come true; he has had no sleep because his own

men have defected from his cause and his faith in the witches has also

been confirmed as a mistake.

In conclusion, Macbeth's weakness is his inability to take control of

his own life. Instead he allows his wife's ambition for him and the

witches' prophecies to undermine his integrity. He relies on the

prophecies, which drive him into a fate he cannot control. He is too

easily influenced into the direction he secretly desires to go and

then is determined, and with his determination goes a violent and

ruthless nature. All of this, combined with his unstable mind, makes

Macbeth a complex and tragic figure.
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