Macbeth by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth. It was written at the time of King James, and it is relevant as you read on. King James was attracted to witches, and the play includes many matters that interest him. Macbeth as a character is very expendable, thinking and mostly unpredictable. The way Shakespeare uses Macbeth and Lady Macbeth I unique. The play is very powerful in terms of evil and lessons in life. The moral is that there are no shortcuts in life. In the eleventh century Scotland was a violent and troubled country. Families and clans fought for any sort of territory. Macbeth was born in 1005, son of the great family that ruled Moray and Ross. Throughout Shakespeare's life, witches and witchcraft were the article of morbid fascination. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 16,000 people were killed burned to death (nearly all women) were convicted of being witches. There were hundreds of pamphlets describing the lurid details of witchcraft trails. These were women who were convicted. The function of the witches is to introduce uncertainty in to the play. We are never really sure what they are able to do, how strong their influence on Macbeth is, for example. The witches open the play with great dramatic force- this is something which would certainly shame late comers to the seat. There is thunder, there is lightening- things are not right in the world of nature, and then there are some weird, hag like creature say they come to meet Macbeth. This would make our full attention on the women, as they have named the person who the play is about. We as the audience think what are they? What can they want from Macbeth? Where have they come form? The witches are also part of the play because of th... ... middle of paper ... ... relationship with the witches also helps the reader to see the changes in him, initially they find him, by the end he is calling to them. You could also look at how he speaks to them; he gets more and more familiar and even rude as he gets further away from the usual constraints of human society. Finally, on a more practical level, they literally provide a change of scene and of tempo to keep the audience interested. People in Shakespeare's time would view them quite differently to a modern audience because most people believed in witches. You ask if they are to blame for what happens to Macbeth. He is the one who listens to and acts on their advice so he is partly to blame for his own downfall. Lady Macbeth really encourages Macbeth to kill Duncan and she actively helps him to cover his tracks so she is partly responsible for starting him on the path of evil too.