The History Of Shakespeare 's ' Macbeth ' Essay

The History Of Shakespeare 's ' Macbeth ' Essay

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Raphael Holinshed’s historical literature The History of Scotland gives a basis for William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. While Holinshed’s historical composition is factual, the author uses his imagination to characterize historic people, employing dialogue to make the history more interesting. Moreover, Holinshed uses dialogue to offer reasoning for the actions of these individuals –often misrepresenting the actual characters and historical events. When compared to Shakespeare’s play, it is shown that both authors apply dialogue to reveal more about characters. Since Shakespeare obtained many of his impressions from Holinshed, the storyline and methods that both authors use are similar. However, because Shakespeare’s work is a play, more devices can be used by productions to illustrate the personal sides of Shakespeare’s characters. For instance, monologues, dramatic expressions, soliloquies, and identity-exposing scenes. When Macbeth is performed on stage, as in Skidmore College Theater’s production of Macbeth directed by Holly L. Derr; movements, reactions, dialogue, and special effects come together to expose the inner feelings of a character. Whereas Holinshed’s writing makes it seem like he was actually there, using a fictional, storytelling approach and narrating his dialogue, he is more limited in how to communicate this to his reader because he is writing history; in comparison, Shakespeare attempts to put the audience inside the character’s minds in Macbeth and has more means of doing so –as expressed by the Skidmore production.
Holinshed’s compilation recounts the history of the country hundreds of years after it occurred. Yet, Holinshed tells these events like he was there, confidently describing the appearances of...

... middle of paper ... from Holinshed’s work, the playwright has more permission to fictionalize the information, and more devices available to him. Although Holinshed attempts to reveal details about the historical figures internal lives, he can only do so through dramatized writing, as he still must base his story around facts. Contrarily, Shakespeare can create his own story because he is not writing history, but rather conveying a clearly fictionalized story for entertainment value. In conclusion, Holinshed gives assumptions about the inner lives of historical figures who lived hundreds of years before the author was born; when compared to Skidmore’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and the tragedy by itself, one will agree that the methods used to apply character analysis are much more effective and necessary in Macbeth, than in The History of Scotland.

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