Macbeth Written by William Shakepeare

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Macbeth, written between the years of 1603 and 1606, is one of the most well-known plays of William Shakespeare. This play is based on historical events Shakespeare modified from Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This drama portrays the rise of the ambition-powered Macbeth to the throne of Scotland. It depicts the numerous murders and malicious schemes Macbeth undertook to consolidate his power. Many of the accounts in Macbeth are historically accurate; however, some parts of the play were adapted and modified to fit the current times in which Shakespeare lived.

It is noted, “the interest of Macbeth is not a historical interest” (Boyce, “Banquo”). Shakespeare deviated from the chronicles in different aspects in order to please the king during his time. Macbeth was written solely to gratify King James I of England. Shakespeare pays tribute to King James in many different ways. He aspired for Macbeth to support James' political agenda. In history, England and Scotland had been historic enemies, but now they were governed by the same monarch. Shakespeare wanted his writing to unite them in a way that politics could not do. After 1603, it became politically incorrect to write rudely about the Scots. Shakespeare used his play to “advance the king’s agenda by both creating and emphasizing the commonalities” between Scotland and England (Bloom, p 44).

It is well-known in history that King James was deeply superstitious before becoming king. James wrote various works about witches based on his earlier superstitions, such as Daemonologie. Written in 1599, Daemonologie served as the basis of depicting the roles and images of the witches in Macbeth (Boyce, “Macbeth”). In his earlier years, King James enjoy...

... middle of paper ... (Boyce, “Duncan”).

Shakespeare used history as the framework of his play. He altered characters and events in order to please his king. Shakespeare knew that King James was becoming very skeptic about the supernatural; therefore, he included the many abilities that a person’s imagination could have on their actions. This ultimately proved that people’s minds could make them see, hear, and do certain things. It also proved that the supernatural did not have to be involved to make people do evil things. Shakespeare altered Banquo and Duncan in his play by making Banquo virtuous and Duncan feeble. This made King James happy because his ancestor was represented as a good person and made the murder look more gruesome. In order to create the ideal play that King James would approve of, Shakespeare altered history and created one of his greatest works of all time.
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