ConnorTaylorMrs.HootsAPLiterature15December 2017Title Macbethis the play of a warrior’s rise to power and tragic downfall based inmedieval Scotland. Macbeth, a successful soldier, is the main character of theplay whose goal is the kingship of Scotland. Three witches inform Macbeth inthe beginning of the play that he will become the next king of Scotland.
Thewitches also predict that the kings after Macbeth will not come from hisdescent, but actually from Banquo. While in the beginning Macbeth wants to justsit back and wait for fate to happen, but when King Duncan nominates his onMalcolm as the next king Macbeth wants to spring into action. Macbeth is notcompletely sure what he should do, but his wife persuades him that regicide,the murder of the king, will be the fastest way for her husband, Macbeth, tobecome the next king. Macbeth and his wife have the King Duncan visit Macbeth’scastle leaving the perfect opportunity for them to murder King Duncan. WhileMacbeth first is not sure of the plan, his wife again convinces him otherwise.Lady Macbeth drugs the guards and then Macbeth goes to the king’s room andmurders him while he is asleep.
After the killing, Macduff arrives at thecastle to wake the king to make sure King Duncan is ready for his journey. Whenthe murder is found out King Duncan’s sons flee the country and Macbeth is madethe next king of Scotland. Macbeth, remembering the second prediction, hiresmurderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. The Murderers succeed withBanquo’s murder, but Fleance escapes. Macbeth being scared goes back to thewitches to learn more and this time they tell him that he will die by a man notborn of woman. Macbeth prepares for battle and meets Macduff who is not born ofwoman, but came into the world by cesarean section. Macduff kills Macbeth andMalcolm becomes the new king of Scotland. William Shakespeare was born inStratford, England about 100 miles northwest of London.
There is no exact dateto when he was born, but we celebrate his birthday on April 23, which was theday he died. Shakespeare’s parents were John and Mary Shakespeare who were bothpracticing Catholics at the time. Shakespeare was the third of eight childrenin his family. Shakespeare also most likely attended a local grammar schoolwhere he could learn about Latin classics and grammar. No one knows for sure ifhe finished his studies or ended up helping his father in an apprenticeship.
When Shakespeare was eighteen he married a girl named Anne Hathaway and thewedding was thought to be arranged due to her being pregnant. They had threekids together and one of them being Hamnet, Shakespeare only son who passedaway when he was eleven. The two other, Susanna and Judith, lived much longer.It is recorded that for most of their marriage Shakespeare and Anna livedseparately because he wanted to pursue his theater and writing career inLondon. Apparently it was not until later in their lives that they moved backin together. Between 1585 and 1592 Shakespearecompletely goes of record where many historians have no idea what he didbetween those seven years.
History.com states, “Historians have speculated that he worked as aschoolteacher, studied law, traveled across continental Europe or joined anacting troupe that was passing through Stratford.” One historian even thinksthat Shakespeare had to flee because he poached deer from a local politiciansestate. At least by 1592 though Shakespeare had begun his acting career and hadalready written a couple of plays.
He also by this time spent enough time to inLondon to write about its people, culture and geography. Many of his works andeven his works in the beginning of his career demonstrated how much knowledgehe had of Europe. Shakespeare’s first plays had allthree of the major dramatic genres in them like tragedy, comedy and history.Shakespeare in the beginning of his career was associated with a couple ofdifferent theater companies when his earliest of works were created and actedout on stage. Beginning is 1594 he began working for a company named the LordChamberlain’s Men whose name changed to King’s Men because at one point James Iappointed himself as the main patron. In 1599 Shakespeare partnered with otherpeople involved in the King’s Men and established one of the most famoustheaters, the Globe Theater. Shakespeare during this time wrote his most wellknown plays including “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “King Lear,””Hamlet” and “The Tempest.
” Shakespeare during his time was known for his poetryespecially since in 1593 the London theaters were closed due to a plagueoutbreak in the area. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616at the age of 52 to unknown reasons. Shakespeare also had a famous epitaph thatsaid, “Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that movesmy bones.” Because of this his bones have not been moved even thougharcheologist want to know how he died. Two of Shakespeare’s former colleaguespublished some of his plays called the First Folio. Overall Shakespeare is seenas one of the most influential writers in English history and his playscontinue to be performed around the world.
Macbethtakes place in Scotland, Europe during the Middle Ages. While most of thescenes take place in Scotland there are a few scenes that are set in England.Shakespeare also when describing Scotland and in his scene his word usagedescribes Scotland suggest more of evil.
While on the other hand, England isdescribed to be more like a saintly who sends his men to conquer the evilpowers of the Scottish King, Macbeth. Macbethis the only play by Shakespeare that takes place in Scotland. The reasonwhy it is the only Shakespeare play based in Scotland is because after QueenElizabeth I died in 1603, and King James VI of Scotland was crowned King JamesI of England.
All of this happened a few years before Shakespeare wrote theplay. Back then all the plays were performed at the discretion of the King, soShakespeare had a big interest in flattering James’ I ego to help his own selfout. Macbeth also has some historicalcontext by the real Macbeth actually did kill King Duncan in order that hewould become king. Although Macbeth is based on a real Macbeth from the 11thcentury Scotland, the Macbeth in the play is nothing like the historicalMacbeth in real life.
While the play takes place inScotland for several of reasons, Shakespeare’s play Macbeth atmosphere is quite dark and ominous nature. The theme ofthe play actually never changes throughout the play and stays dark the whole time.Actually, the play instead becomes darker and more ominous over the course ofthe play. Also Shakespeare utilizes witches throughout the play because at thetimes witches and witchcraft were very popular. Witches also added to thesetting since it affected the mood of the play and serves as a literary elementof foreshadowing to what is going to happen in the play, Macbeth. Also the battlefields and castles in the play helpintensify the overall atmosphere of the play. Many of the places in Macbeth are at castles and various otherlocations dispersed throughout Scotland. One of them being Forres, a castle inScotland where Duncan lives.
Macbeth lives at Forres when he becomes king ofScotland and Banquo was murdered about a mile away from the castle. Invernessis another castle that plays a major role in the play. Inverness is actuallywhere Macbeth lives before he becomes the king of Scotland. Also this is whereLady Macbeth and Macbeth actually kill King Duncan so that Macbeth can fulfillthe prophecy that was told to him. Another major location that is in the playis Fife, where Macduff and his family live during the play. Macbeth actuallyhires thugs to kill of Macduff’s kin there because Macduff left for England.The reason why Macbeth can send thugs to kill them all is because Macduff lefthis family unprotected when he left for England. Birnam Wood is anotherlocation in Macbeth and is a forestclose to Dunsinane Hill.
At this location Malcolm’s men disguise themselveswith tree branches so when they move towards Macbeth’s castle at DunsinaneMacbeth will not know how many men are marching towards him. Also it will looklike the forest is actually moving which is part of the prophecy that thewitches told Macbeth. Dunsinane Hill is a hill where Macbeth has a castle andwhere he waits for Malcolm’s men to come. The only place that was not given anexact location by Shakespeare during the play was when Macbeth was with theWitches. Nosweatshakespeare states, “And the scenes with the witches, though presumesin Scotland, are given no specific location by Shakespeare – simply referred toas “A desert place” or “A cavern”.” The following passage that is beinganalyzed comes from Act 1 Scene 5 in Macbeth on page thirty.
The scene startsout by Lady Macbeth reading a letter from Macbeth when she is alone. The firstsentence of the passage states, “They met me in the day of success, and I havelearned by the perfectest report they have more in them than mortal knowledge.”Macbeth in the letter when saying “they” is referring to the witches that hespoke to in the beginning of the play.
Also when it reads, “day of success” theline is referring to him winning in battle that very day. Another thing thatMacbeth refers to is how the witches have more than mortal knowledge, whichmeans they have supernatural knowledge. The next sentence talks about how Macbeth”burned in desire to question them further.” The sentences says in full, “WhenI burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, intowhich they vanished.” Shakespeare is using personification by stating thatMacbeth’s desire was burning to ask more questions about the witches. Thesecond part of that sentence proclaims how the witches just made themselves airwhich means they just vanished into thin air even though Macbeth wanted to askmore questions about his prophecy.
The third sentence on the page states,”Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives from the king, whoall-hailed me ‘Thane of Cawdor,’ by which title, before, these weird sisterssaluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time with ‘Hail, king thatshalt be!'” The beginning of the sentence talks about how Macbeth was inamazement with the prophecies that the witches had just given him. Also theword “missives” means message and in this context Shakespeare means for theword to stand for messengers. “Thane of Cawdor” is also a major part of thispassage because by the witches prophesying that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdorand then the messengers showing up by referring to him as Thane of Cawdor. Itdemonstrates how the prophecies of the witches are true and that more willlikely come true. It is also foreshadowing with the likelihood of the prophecyof Macbeth ruling of Scotland coming into fruition. Thane of Cawdor is also bigsince thane is a person who has land from the king in return for loyaltytowards the king.
The fourth sentence of the passage states,”This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness,that thou might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of whatgreatness is promised thee.” Overall this sentence is just talking about howMacbeth felt that he needed to share what was prophesied to him with his wife,Lady Macbeth, in order that they could rejoice together in what was to come inthe future. Also the last sentence of the letter from Macbeth is Macbethtelling Lady Macbeth to keep it all a secret and goodbye. The second part of the passage is whereLady Macbeth finally finishes reading the letter and begins to have a shortsoliloquy. The first sentence Lady Macbeth states, “Glamis thou art, andCawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised.
” The first line of Lady Macbethspeaking shows how she is very proud and demanding in how she speaks. The secondpart of the sentence demonstrates how she wants Macbeth to become king by herstating that he will get what he was promised.The next part Lady Macbeth says, “Yet I dofear thy nature.” In this short line Lady Macbeth is exclaiming how shebelieves that her husband does not have what it takes to become the next rulerof Scotland and seize the crown. The next couple of lines stated by LadyMacbeth says, “It is full o’th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearestway: thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without ambition, butwithout The illness should attend it.
” The first part of the sentenceShakespeare compares Macbeth’s nature to milk of human kindness meaning he istoo kind. Also the next part of the sentence Lady Macbeth demonstrates how shebelieves that Macbeth wants to be great, but does not have what it takes tostrike at his opportunity. Another thing Shakespeare compares is by stating howMacbeth does not have the illness, which means that Macbeth does not have themean streak to strike at his opportunities. The eighth sentence of the passage LadyMacbeth states, “What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldstnot play falsely, And yet wouldst wrongly win.” The previous sentence shows howLady Macbeth believes Macbeth will not cheat to get what he wants, but what hewants he does not deserve so in order for him to get she believes he mustcheat. The next two following sentences LadyMacbeth goes on to state how she believes her husband is to weak to get what hewants and he will not make the prophecy come true. Lady Macbeth states,”Thou’ld’st have, great Glamis, That which cries, “Thus thou must do,” if thouhave it, And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should beundone.” Lady Macbeth in this sentence is exclaiming how Macbeth will have to dowhat he fears which is accomplishing something by cheating, but he wants thecrown that does not belong to him.
Also Lady Macbeth is talking about howMacbeth will never do what he needs to do to get the crown and how she willneed to persuade him. The last part of Lady Macbeth’ssoliloquy talks about how she will need to persuade Macbeth in order that hewill receive the crown. The first part of the last sentence says, “Hie theehither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valor ofmy tongue.” The first part of this line is personification by Lady Macbethsaying she will pour her spirits into the ear of Macbeth. Also it is saying howshe will put her ideas into to him so that he will become the ruler ofScotland. The next part Lady Macbeth says that she will chastise meaning thatshe will rebuke what he is thinking of doing.
Also she talks about how she willchastise him with the valor of her tongue meaning that she is being brave by tellinghim what she believes he will have to do to gain the crown. Then Lady Macbethgoes on to say the following, “All that impedes thee from the golden round.”Basically, the previous line is demonstrating how she already knows thatMacbeth is having doubts about seizing the crown and that she must talk himinto what he was prophesied to do. Finally, Lady Macbeth concludes withthe statement, “Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crownedwithal.” The final statement by Lady Macbeth shows how she believes that fatewants him to be the next king.
Also by Lady Macbeth saying metaphysical she isreferring to the witches that prophesied that Macbeth would become the nextruler of Scotland. Overall the soliloquy that she presents demonstrates how shewants Macbeth to become the next king so badly and that she will try topersuade her husband to follow through with the prophecy.