The historical King Macbeth reigned in Scotland for 17 years from 1040-1057. He had a wife named Coruoch and a stepson named Luloch. Although Macbeth did kill Duncan, he was not the gentle king as described in Macbeth. Killing a king was not uncommon at this time as, Macbeth's 7-9 predecessors were killed as well. In 1050, Macbeth went on a religious pilgrimage to Rome to seek absolution for Duncan's death. Unlike Macbeth, Malcolm (rather than Macduff) killed the historical Macbeth. Luloch, known as the "Idiot," reigned for five months after Macbeth's death until Malcolm
overthrew him. Although there are differences between Shakespeare's Macbeth and the historical figure Macbeth, it is obvious that Shakespeare based his character on this Scottish king.
The person who influenced Shakespeare to write Macbeth was King James I of England, who reigned from 1566 to 1625. King James, who was also known as King James 6 of Scotland, succeeded the throne of Queen Elizabeth. James' mother, Mary Queen of Scots, was known as a tragic queen since she killed James father. At age sixteen, rivals kidnapped James and at age 20, James' mother was executed. King James was intellectual, scholarly, and an "insatiable curiost." His ideal of heaven was the Oxford Library. In 1584, while he was only 18 years old, James wrote Essays of Apprentice in Fine Arts of Poetry. He discussed a new translation of the bible, The Authorized Version, which is the most popular bible today. James also wrote in defense of the Divine Right of Kings- that kings were chosen by God, but they must rule well. King James succeeded in ruling an authoritarian government,... [continues]
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