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Macbeth Shakespeare wrote the play, "Macbeth," between 1606 and 1611. He based it on an account of the history of Scotland, "The Chronicles Of Scotland," written by a man named Holinshed. However, Shakespeare changed many things from Holinshed's account. In Shakespeare's version Macbeth has fewer reasons for killing King Duncan, because, in Holinshed's Duncan was a lazy king and, Scotland was in chaos. In Shakespeare's account, this is not so. Also, Macbeth works with Banquo to kill Duncan on the battlefield in Holinshed's version as supposed to murdering Duncan in his sleep as he does in Shakespeare's play. Macbeth reigned for over 15 years in reality whereas his reign in the play was short. The real Macbeth was, in many people's minds, the rightful king of Scotland, at the time Scotland's system for the monarchy was such that the heir to the throne was in the same family but never a direct descendant of the present king, the kingship was usually passed between two arms of the family, and as Duncan had decided to make his son Malcolm the heir to his throne, Macbeth had the right to depose him as king. ...read more.


This is an association with the witches, who at the time were considered to be the devils equivalent to angels, a definite sign of evil. Then in the very next scene his fellow soldiers name Macbeth as a war hero when the captains says, "For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name." This causes the audience to be confused because first Macbeth is linked with evil then he is praised for being a good soldier. Also, in the first scene, the witches give an insight into the theme of the play through their chant, "fair is foul, and foul is fair." This shows that in the world of the play, good is evil and evil is good. This quote comes to the fore again when we first meet Macbeth, with his opening line virtually echoing that of the witches, "As fair and foul a day I have not seen," another link with evil. The first scene opens with a clap of thunder, this is to grab the attention and quieten the audience as well as to set the scene, as Elizabethan audiences were often rowdy, due to the theatre being the main social gathering for people at the time. ...read more.


Later on in the same scene Macbeth finds out that he is to become Thane of Cawdor. This is the witches' first prediction come true in the eyes of Macbeth; again this triggers his tragic flaw. Macbeth then decides that in order to become King he would have to kill King Duncan. This is a sign of both ruthlessness and a lack of common sense because Duncan was older than Macbeth and therefore Macbeth could have become King after Duncan had died naturally. The next scene however provides Macbeth with a reason for killing Duncan and that is that Duncan has chosen his son Malcolm to succeed him to the throne by naming him as Prince Of Cumberland. In order for Macbeth to be the successor to Duncan's throne he would have had to be named as the Prince of Cumberland, so Malcolm being given the title will no doubt have disheartened him. Also disheartening for Macbeth is Duncan's line, "He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust." This speaks of the previous Thane Of Cawdor and is disheartening because it means that Duncan cannot trust Macbeth more than he could trust a man who was a traitor to him. Macbeth Mathew Yeaman GCSE Coursework English Macbeth Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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