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Macbeth Essay- How Would A Jacobean Audience See Events In The Play Differently To A Modern Audience?

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Emmanuel Salami 11B English Course-Work How Would A Jacobean Audience See The Events In The Play Differently To A Modern Audience? From the study of Macbeth, we examine that the lifestyle and time the play was written was totally different compared to today's modern intake on how several events in the play seemed. Firstly, we whiteness that the audience at the Jacobean time was different. They had a completely different and rather amusing belief system. On a whole, this was commonly witchcraft a supernatural sign which they thought was either from God or the black evil (by witches) that was practiced. This was evident as at the time of King James, it was when he was returning from Denmark after his marriage to Christian's sister, Anne, that James had first come in contact with witchcraft. A group of witches in North Berwickshire had tried to practise the black arts against him, and the confession of one of them, Agnes Seaton, was published in a magazine at the time entitled News from Scotland in I59I. She had first hung up a toad 'by the heels' and caught the venom that dropped from it so that she could use it to anoint an article of clothing that the King had worn. ...read more.


They behaved selflessly, as if they were controlled by evil spirits rather than by their own conscious minds. Macbeth's inability to pray (II. 2. 28-33) is another symptom of this condition, and Lady Macbeth's 'damned spot' might have suggested the devil's mark that was to be found on a witch. The Jacobeans were less simple-minded about the supernatural than is often supposed; their psychological theory may have been more believable, but their psychological views were as acute as ours. The sleep walking is at least as true to twentieth-century theories of repression as it is to seventeenth-century beliefs in possession; the 'spot' that brands Lady Macbeth is, after all, in her mind, not on her body. For Shakespeare and his audience (Jacobeans) supernatural forces were not only external powers, but forces within the mind. Evil spirits could have no influence over human beings unless they had already admitted evil into their minds, just as in the play it appears that Macbeth has already entertained the murderous thoughts in which the witches encourage him. If he and his wife are possessed by evil, it is because they allow themselves to be possessed; the thought is psychological rather than supernatural. A sharp contrast between these two parts in the play mis-represents it, for in Macbeth the one continually bonds with the other, what may be understood at one level as psychological may also be seen as supernatural 'unnatural' is a word that accepts both. ...read more.


On which they meet (I. 3. 4~7, 77). Their doctrine reverses the natural order of things: 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' is the satanic principle of 'Evil be thou my good'. It echoes in Macbeth's first words (L -34 383; he goes on to adopt it in order to gain the throne then finds that he cannot escape from it. Again there is more evidence that the Jacobeans at the time believed in the 'Divine Right of Kings'. This meant that, although Macbeth had killed King Duncan to make space for his own reign, he was clearly disrupting the life of gods own representative. This is known as rejudice. Even after the murder of King Duncan, signs of gods own displeasure showed that God was angry and the weather represented this. Black dark thunder struck clouds also represented that something evil was to come, leaving people but with no option but to repent for any sin they had committed (catholics). In conclusion, the Jacobeans saw events which occurred in the play differently from todays modern view. Life at the time was completely shaded with all the strong beliefs many people had on the topic of the two main subjects, witch craft and the supernatural. The majority believed in fate rather than the natural instinct which is to let life flow and see what was to come. ...read more.

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