Discussion of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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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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