Shakespeare Introduction

By Stacey Loo

Who is Macbeth Written By

Macbeth is written by Shakespeare who was an English playwright and author. Shakespeare is said to be the greatest writer of English Literature and his work is said to be timeless. Phrases such as 'to be or not to be' and 'shall i compare thee to a summer's day?' are known by many which show how prevalent his work is even to this day. Macbeth is based loosely on Macbeth, Macduff and Duncan who have their own characters in the play and is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy.

King James in Macbeth

King James favored Shakespeare and ordained him as one of the King's men, which was an honorable title. Macbeth was obviously written to show the relationship between King James and Shakespeare as there are many components of the play that can be alluded back to him. Most parts of Macbeth was set in Scotland, where King James was originally King James VI of Scotland. Witches were also a great passion of King James and Shakespeare incorporated that into his play with the weird sisters. The story of Macbeth warns people not to commit harm to the sovereign as disastrous consequences will occur. This was important as King James had unified Scotland and England, which was also mentioned in Macbeth, and his position was also insecure because many people persecuted him.

The Chain of Being

A popular belief of the Elizabethan century was The Chain of Being, also known as the Elizabethan World Order. It was believed that every being on earth had been placed there by God, The Kings were representations of God, any harm caused to the King was a sin against God. The chain is disrupted when Macbeth kills King Duncan, as follows the belief of immense chaos breaking out if chain is broken, this was true as Macbeth had to kill other people and was driven to near insanity. Peace is restored when Macbeth is slain and Malcolm rightfully assumes the throne.

The Witches

The Three Witches in Macbeth, also known as the' Weird Sisters' informed Macbeth of the prophecy of him becoming King. Witches in the 1600's were believed to be servants of the Devil and witch hunting was a common practice, the Weird Sisters were represented as evil as well. The weird sisters never lied, but they did lead Macbeth into temptation and deceive himself, much like the devil leads people into temptation. The witches are the reason why Macbeth murdered his own king and broke the Chain of Being.