James I and William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

James I and William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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James I and William Shakespeare's Macbeth

In 1606, William Shakespeare was commissioned to write a play for King
James I. The play was to be performed at Hampton court while James I
was entertaining his brother in law king Christian of Denmark.

Shakespeare wrote 'Macbeth' for the occasion. It was not a new story.
Shakespeare found it in 'The history of Scotland' by Raphael
Hollinshead,

but Shakespeare's play is far more than a dramatic rewrite of
historical facts.

Shakespeare made many changes to the original story to ensure two
things. Firstly, that it was suitably adapted so that general
audiences would have appreciated it, that it had an interesting plot
and was generally entertaining. But secondly that it was especially
suited to James I particular tastes and interests, so that he would
find it a 'pleasing play.'

As a play it is very entertaining, not just for king James, but also
for general audiences of his time. This play was written to entertain,
and it does so in a number of ways. 'Macbeth' has a plot that includes
murder, action, tragedy and romance, all of which are exciting and
still appeal to audiences of today.

The play was written very well so that it would be exciting to watch
on stage. Battle scenes, ghosts and apparitions, visions and murder
would look very impressive in a time before special effects. For
example, the scene in which Macbeth and the audience can see the ghost
of Banquo but none of the other characters can. This is a very
entertaining element of the play. It successfully shows Macbeth's
terror and Lady Macbeth's confusion. The audience, who know what is
going on, find the bewilder...


... middle of paper ...


... which
James I would have found Macbeth pleasing; the entertaining plot with
interesting characters, beautiful language, moral teachings, themes of
particular interest to James both as a man and a king and a
satisfactory ending. In fact nobody can list all of the reasons why
James I would have enjoyed the play, and there may be many more. But
certainly Macbeth would have been, and still is, a very entertaining
play for anyone who watched it. Filled with action, suspense, murder,
mystery and riddles it can not fail to please any audience. James I
would have appreciated the play like any other audience member, but
aspects such as the supernatural, being set in Scotland, having his
ancestor portrayed as a hero and Divine Right of kings included in
Macbeth ensures that James the I would have found it a 'pleasing
play'.

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