- Slides: 5
Background and Content Macbeth
The Time � � � � Jacobean - believers in Catholic system. Discovered gunpowder under parliament. Arrested Guy Fawkes and burnt him at the stake. Blamed Catholics. During this time Shakespeare wrote Macbeth. Censorship towards theatre. Attacked as a catholic poet. Nothing sadicious could be published. Puritans – people who didn’t believe in the arts, founding fathers of the United States.
The Man � � � � Shakespeare is a famous playwright who wrote Macbeth. He was born on April 23, 1564. In 1582, he married Anne Hathaway and had three children. He was a senior member of an acting company called “Lord Chamberlain’s Men” He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets but was also an actor and acted many of his plays in the Globe Theatre. He had a total of 8 children in his life. He lived through the black death and lost a few of his children to it. He died in 1616 at the age of 52.
The Play � � � Macbeth tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. His reign is racked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes an oppressive and controlling ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from hostility and suspicion. The bloodbath swiftly takes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into realms of arrogance, madness, and death. In this play Shakespeare has added a supernatural theme, the witches and their prophesies which are not present in most of his other works.
The Issues � � � The concept of power is explored through Macbeth. The main theme is the corrupted power that comes with unchecked ambition. This theme is explored through the two main characters, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth. The witches’ prophesies taunt Macbeth’s ambition and spur him into committing regicide, the killing of King Duncan. When he is wrought with guilt and paranoia, Lady Macbeth urges him to continue. However, Lady Macbeth is driven to distraction by their immoral acts, as seen in the washing of blood off her hands and eventually suiciding. The main issue is that violence in pursuit of one’s career is hard to stop, so the two characters take us on their journey of death and lies until they both are quite mad and die.