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By Sarah Burke Macbeth Assignment When writing Macbeth, Shakespeare used real events to base the play on but changed the details so not to cause offence. He got a lot of inspiration from James I. Macbeth was the first and only play of Shakespeare's to be based on a Scottish subject, maybe this was to flatter the king. In Act 4 scene 1 when Macbeth goes to see the witches they show him eight kings and he replies to them "...That two fold balls and treble sceptres carry ..." this could be seen as a hugely flattering reference to the king, symbolising the two orbs he carried at his two coronations and the three kingdoms he ruled. Many of the king's interests are echoed in the play, one being his interest in witchcraft which was well known at the time. The king was known to have attended at least one witch trial. He also published a book called demonology. He set out to prove that the 'unlawful arts' of witches have been and may be put into practice. Sir Everard Digby was one of the conspirator's of the Gunpowder plot, he was a favourite of James, this could be represented in the play with the treachery of the Thane ...read more.


Macbeth is disturbed and frightened by the witches which is different from the image portray in the previous scene. He is concerned that men are easily tempted into sin by the 'instruments of darkness'. In his asides Macbeth reveals a deeply disturbed mind, something in himself seems to have been echoed in the witches words and it is this that gives him most concern. The witches have been proven right about the first of their predications, what will happen about the next, it may be inevitable. Macbeth reveals a strong power of imagination and already at this early stage is deceiving people. For the first half of the play Banquo is very obviously presented by Shakespeare as a parallel figure to Macbeth. Both distinguish themselves by fighting for their king, both have promises made to them by the witches but that is where the similarity end. Banquo's reply to the king's praise is brief and self effacing, "There if I grow The harvest is your own"; Macbeth's is fuller and from our knowledge of him we should suspect to be dishonest. Banquo's reaction to the witches is noticeably more casual than Macbeth's but he does not ask the witches if they see anything in the future for him. ...read more.


Macbeth has the final say in whether to go ahead, he love his wife and wants to please her. Lady Macbeth is the dominating figure in the relationship which is shown in her soliloquy in Act 1 scene 7. It seems that she can convince him to do anything as long as she push's the right buttons. She says "art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour, as thou art desire?" As the play progresses, Macbeth becomes the dominating partner again. Lady Macbeth becomes subservient. She becomes pathetic and a shadow of her former self. Ambition plays a large role in the tragedy. Lady Macbeth's ambition drives her to manipulate Macbeth. The combination of both his ambitious nature and the initial prophesies lead Macbeth to commit murder. The killing of Duncan starts an unstoppable chain of events. Lady Macbeth is a controversial figure, she is seen as having strong will, who is ambitious for herself and who is astute enough to recognise her husband's strengths and weakness, and ruthless enough to exploit them. She seems to be the better criminal; she remembers the details that Macbeth has overlooked, "Why did you bring these daggers from the place?" She does however begin to realise that the crown has not brought happiness, "Nought's had, all's spent, where our desire is got without content". ...read more.

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