WITCHES TREACHERY MURDER BLOOD FAITHLESSNESS DECEPTION AMBITION. Mrs. Moulton British Literature

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1 WITCHES TREACHERY MURDER BLOOD FAITHLESSNESS DECEPTION AMBITION

2 Macbeth A tragedy By William Shakespeare

3 The Rise and Fall of a Great Man

4 The Scottish Play is based loosely on an episode from history, the death of King Duncan at the hands of his kinsman Macbeth.

5 Shakespeare's source for his story is Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577) Source of the play

6 Written in 1606 Performed at the Globe Theatre, London Published in the First Folio of 1623

7 Genre: Tragedy Notes Setting (time): 11th century Setting (place): Scotland, and briefly, England Protagonist: Macbeth Major Conflicts: Macbeth struggles with his conscience (before and after murder); evil (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth); struggles with good (Malcolm and Macduff)

8 Historical Connection Scotland at the time was a violent and troubled country The castle was the center of each rival aristocrat s (thane) power Political murder and revenge were not unusual means to gain power Plundering Vikings and Norsemen attacked Scotland constantly

9 The play is the shortest of Shakespeare's tragedies, without diversions or subplots. It chronicles Macbeth's seizing of power and subsequent destruction. It is considered Shakespeare s darkest work. His rise and fall are the result of blind ambition.

10 Macbeth was intended to stir the interest of the new king, James I. The play's focus on regicide, a supreme crime in Shakespeare's day, tied into the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot where English Roman Catholic conspirators plotted to blow up Parliament, King James, his queen and oldest son.

11 Importance of Patronage The play pays tribute to the interests and knowledge of King James. With patronage, a writer composes one of his works for a king, queen or another rich person for continued support. This play compliments James by making Banquo, who is said to be his ancestor, a hero in the play. Historically, Banquo never existed. Macbeth focuses on issues of kinship and loyalty, important ideals to King James, who had survived an assassination attempt early in his life. His father had been murdered. His mother, Mary Queen of Scots, had been executed.

12 The questions of the role of the monarch and the duties of their subjects toward them were of major importance to King James. A story suggests that King James wrote a letter of acknowledgment about the play to Shakespeare. Shakespeare s England, the political issue of succession and order were of major importance. Belief in witchcraft was widespread. In 1604, the practice of witchcraft became punishable by death because it was believed that it attempted to change God s natural order.

13 The Historical Macbeth Born in 1005 to a family that ruled Moray and Ross He married Gruach, granddaughter to a High King of Scotland; no children No historical evidence of Lady Macbeth s influence on her husband Duncan, an ineffective king, was 38 when he was killed, possibly by Macbeth Macbeth ruled for 17 years, elected High King of Scotland in For the first 10 years, this competent king reformed the country. Led Scotland in a long period of peace and stability

14 Historical Macbeth No evidence of attention to witchcraft Strong supporter of the church Duncan s son Malcolm invaded Scotland in 1054, supported by the English King Edward the Confessor Macbeth was killed on Aug. 15, 1057 Buried at Iona, the sacred burial place of the kings of Scotland

15 Theme The play is seen as a tale of dangers of the lust for power and betrayal of friends.

16 Inside the theater Actors often consider the play to be unlucky, and usually refer to it as the Scottish play rather than by name. To say the name of the play inside a theatre is considered to doom the production to failure.

17 Recurring motifs (patterns) Blood Clothing Natural order (nature) Insomnia

18 What to Watch For what Macbeth is thinking and feeling, why he acts the way he does, and what consequences his evil brings about upon himself

19 At the Start of the Play Macbeth is a very successful and highly respected member of a social group, loaded with honors and enjoying every prospect of future commendations. He has a loving wife and a secure home in his castle at Inverness. He is praised for his heroic actions in defense of the kingdom. King Duncan thinks of Macbeth with high regard and treats him generously.

20 At the End of the Play Macbeth is totally alone. He has no friends, he is universally despised, his wife is dead, and all his most eager hopes have been disappointed. He is a man without a place in the social community. He has become totally isolated.

21 Why? Because of his own free decisions! He destroys himself.

22 READY TO ACT? PLEASE TURN TO PAGE 300

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