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Transcript of Macbeth
James 1 became King of Scotland in 1567 at 13 months old. He became King of England and Ireland as well in 1603 and ruled all three countries until 1625.
Regicide was considered a force of the demonic.
killing of a king.
Shakespeare wrote the play for the king, who had written a book on witchcraft and who was Scottish. (The play has witches and a central character that is Scottish.)
The play is very concerned with the effects of regicide: the
James 1 believed very strongly in the Divine Right of Kings, which was an Elizabethan belief that God selected a monarch for the throne.
Shakespeare took the skeletal outline of Macbeth from Holinshed's Chronicles and these historical annals do record that Scotland was ruled by a King Macbeth between 1034 and 1037 AD and that he succeeded to the throne after the assassination of King Duncan.
Macbeth was written around 1606 for King James, who was monarch of England at that time.
Returning to his castle, Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded and directed by his ambitious wife, who realizes that regicide—the murder of the king—is the quickest way to achieve the destiny that her husband has been promised.
Set in medieval Scotland and partly based on a true historical account, Macbeth charts the bloody rise to power and tragic downfall of the warrior Macbeth.
Already a successful soldier in the army of King Duncan, Macbeth is informed by Three Witches that he is to become king. As part of the same prophecy, the Witches predict that future Scottish kings will be descended not from Macbeth but from his fellow army captain, Banquo.
Although initially prepared to wait for Fate to take its course, Macbeth is stung by ambition and confusion when King Duncan nominates his son Malcolm as his heir.
Macbeth - Thane of Cawdor and the protagonist of the play, the witches prophecy leads him to murder and treason.
Lady Macbeth - Wife of Macbeth, her ambition is overwhelming and she encourages her husband to commit murder
Macduff: A thane of Scotland who discovers the murdered king. He is one of the first to suspect Macbeth's part in the murder. He seeks revenge on Macbeth when his wife and children are killed by his order.
The Witches: Three agents of Fate who reveal the truth (or part of it) to Macbeth and Banquo and who later appear to confirm the downfall and tragic destiny of the tyrannical Macbeth.
Duncan: the honoured and popular king of Scotland, his decision to pass the throne to his son Malcolm provokes his untimely death by the hands of Macbeth
Banquo - A fellow captain and friend of Macbeth, the witches prophecy says that his children will be kings of Scotland and this leads to his ultimate downfall at the hands of his friend.
Donalbain and Malcolm: King Duncan's two sons who flee from Scotland for fear of being blamed of their father's murder.
The main theme within 'Macbeth' is how ambition can corrupt if unchecked by moral restraints. This theme is expressed through the two characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are driven by their desire for power and ultimately meet their demise because of it.
The relationship between Masculinity and Cruelty is explored in the play. Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to kill Duncan by bringing his manhood into question. However, female characters show abject cruelty within the action of the play.
A final theme which is explored in the play is the difference between kingship and tyranny. Duncan is referred to as a king while Macbeth soon becomes known as a tyrant.
Hallucinations recur throughout the play and serve to enforce the Macbeths feelings of guilt over their murderous actions.
Violence is a key elements of the play although most of the murders occur offstage.
Prophecy sets the action of the play into motion. all of the prophecies are fulfilled by the close of the play. but is it the work of fate or are they self-fulfilling?
Blood is everywhere in Macbeth. It symbolises guilt which sits like a permanent stain on the conscience of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Macbeth’s murder spree is accompanied by a number of unnatural occurrences in the weather. From the thunder and lightning that accompany the witches’ appearances to the terrible storms that rage on the night of Duncan’s murder, these violations of the natural order reflect corruption in the moral and political orders