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When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 17th century, the king of England was James I, the play was probably performed at Hampton Co

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Macbeth When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 17th century, the king of England was James I, the play was probably performed at Hampton Court and James I was most probably in the audience. James I most likely have enjoyed this play because James had an attempt on his own life; this is known as the "Gunpowder Plot." A man tried to kill James I, but he was caught and executed. This shows that James would have enjoyed watching Macbeth die for killing his own king. James I is very much interested in witchcraft. Therefore witchcraft is a key element in the play of Macbeth. However witches and witchcraft are in fact the first things we get to see in the play. In the middle ages everyone believed that the King was given his right to be King directly by God. He was Gods representative and he told the people how to live like God would have wanted them to. The King was a very powerful person. The first characters we see in Macbeth are the three witches, who have a big influence over events in the play. ...read more.


He knows that the only way he will succeed in his ambition to become king is to kill the current King Duncan. Banquo then asks the witches if they can tell his future and the witches reply with; "Lesser than Macbeth, and greater" This is saying that Banquo will be less important than Macbeth but happier and greater, the witches also tell Banquo that his ancestors will be king. The witch's evil is more powerful so they do not answer Macbeth's questions and then disappear. This leaves Macbeth more tricked by them than before. Macbeth is wondering if the witches' words are evil or not. He is wondering if the witches' words are true then why is his body feeling distress after hearing them? This is where Macbeth's mind is straying towards murder. This is the evil inside Macbeth coming out slowly as it is Macbeth who mentions murder and the witches did not mention anything about killing anyone. It is Macbeth who is connecting getting kingship and murder, he leaves the idea of murder only as a fantasy and decides to chance if he will become king or not. ...read more.


The witches were seen as very evil beings in the middle ages and the thought of them in the play made every part they are in a best moment. Temptation is a point shown by Shakespeare as through out the play Macbeth is convinced, tempted and attracted by characters such as the witches and his wife. Shakespeare gives us the impression that the force of temptation is driven by evil. Overall, the witches played a very important part in the play. They were a great influence on Macbeth's actions from the beginning, but there were also other influences on him. There were always two possible explanations why Macbeth did what he did, It's also possible that he had such a burning ambition to be king, he created the visions and made himself believe that believing the witches was the only way of fulfilling his ambition. An audience from the time of Shakespeare, would probably prefer to believe the supernatural explanation because at the time, witchcraft was a subject of popular fear and fascination. Today, with just a minority of people believing in the powers of witchcraft, an audience may believe the psychological explanation. Either way, the witches played a very important part in the play. Naz Mariwan English Coursework 05.10.2006 ...read more.

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