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Interpretation of Shakespeares Macbeth (1700's).

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If you were to ask any foreigner to name a Scots king, he would eventually mention Macbeth, and his knowledge would be based on Shakespeare's famous play. However, Shakespeare's drama was written more than 500 years after the real Macbeth was on the throne and the plot of the fictitious drama has somewhat overshadowed the true life of Macbeth. As a result of Shakespeare, Macbeth has been portrayed as an unlucky play, with fire, injuries and deaths associated with performances. In the acting profession, Macbeth is referred to simply as "The Scottish Play". It is unknown where exactly this unfortunate tradition originated, although it is believed that the witches' chant has a hidden meaning, even though in reality the life of Macbeth did not involve witchcraft of any sort. Macbeth himself, who died in 1057, did not appear in monks' records as an evil figure, and myths about his reign only began more than 400 years after his death. During his lifetime, his title as a "warrior-prince" seems to have caused panic between countries close to Alba, as Scandinavia, Ireland and England as well as the rest of Europe, used Alba as a kind of strategic centre. ...read more.


Holinshead gives basic details, saying that Macbeth travelled near to Inverness, where he killed Duncan. Shakespeare selected Inverness for this purpose, but John of Fordun, writing around 1385, tells us that Duncan was mortally wounded at a place by the name of Bothgofane, from where he was carried to Elgin where he died. In Gaelic, Bothgofane translates as "hut of the blacksmith", which could be any number of places within the vicinity of Elgin. Secondly, Macbeth's wife was not in any way linked with the killing of Duncan. Lady Macbeth was in reality a loyal and trouble-free person. From an earlier marriage Lady Macbeth had produced a son, Lulack, who was well protected by Macbeth and succeeded him until he in turn was killed. In fact, "Lady Macbeth" is not her proper name, as Macbeth means "Son of Life", or "of the Elect", which was not a surname. Technically, she would have been addressed as "Lady Gruoch" in the Gaelic language. Her name is also recorded in Fife, where she is said to have donated land to a group of Celtic monks. Another important question concerns the witches. ...read more.


If Duncan was to challenge Macbeth on Macbeth's homeland, and was to lose the outcome would probably be good for the kingdom. Only by not killing his nephew, Malcolm, would Macbeth put his future at risk. Duncan's son fled to the court in England, where he was groomed as a hostage and a puppet king as well as providing in time, the excuse for an English invasion. The invasion, lead by Earl Sivard of Northumbria, formed the climax of the play, and once again Shakespeare uses reliable information for the basis of his script. If Holinshead is to be believed, Macbeth was defeated in battle at Dunsinane, which was a prehistoric hillfort close to the Tayand Perth. Then, Holinshead claims he fled to Lumphanan in the north-east of Scotland, where he was killed by Macduff, a Scottish lord whose family had been murdered as a result of Macbeth's rule. However, Shakespeare felt it best to portray Macbeth being beheaded at Dunsinane by Macduff. But Macbeth did not actually die until he reached Birnam Wood, 12 miles Southeast of Dunsinane. In fact, neither Holinshead nor Shakespeare was correct as there was no such lord as Macduff, and, actually, Malcolm killed Macbeth, three years after the battle of Dunsinane. ...read more.

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