The Inconsistancies in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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For centuries William Shakespeare has been considered one of the most talented and well know playwrights in history. Shakespeare is known for his powerful stories and twisting plots. Many of his thirty-eight plays have been translated into every major modern language and are performed more often than the work of any other playwright. Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth has stirred up a lot of controversy over its historical accuracy.

To understand this tragedy, there has to be a clear understanding of that a thane was and what their jobs were. A thane (or theign) was an assistant to the king. The responsibilities of the thane ranged from many different jobs. Most often the thane would assist the king with one of two duties, helping around the household or assisting with running the country. As a thane you were considered one of the kings noble men and were usually granted a generous piece of land. One interesting fact about the royal hierarchy of these times is that the king was not chosen by being part of the royal family. The king was determined by who could best run the country. This offers the thanes and other members of the royal party the opportunity to one-day rule the country. (The Thegn Anglo-Saxon Sword)

In the tragedy, Macbeth is a Thane who has become hungry for power. Though Macbeth portrays many characters from real life, when examined, the play is loosely based on facts. Shakespeare took the true events and transformed it into a more entertaining supplement by using his creativity. In the play, Macbeth is the Thane of Cawdor and Thane of Glamis, however, historical documentation claims that Macbeth was neither of these. Shakespeare’s Macbeth is crowned these titles after a visit from three mysterious witches. Historical documentation suggests that Macbeth was actually a royal earl. The royal earn is a position that is even more powerful than that of a thane. One of the highest points in Shakespeare’s tragedy is when Macbeth, the main character,...
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