Duncan I of Scotland and Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, Malcolm III of Scotland Pages: 8 (3472 words) Published: January 15, 2014
English IV Macbeth Essay Assignment English drama, as we know it was not always the way it is. It has evolved tremendously since the time of early church plays. Drama in England began long before the Renaissance period. It originated from early church’s ceremonies that were performed to educate the common folk. Before the Renaissance, several kinds of plays were written and produced. Miracle plays and mystery plays were introduced to teach people stories from the Bible. Morality plays taught people how to live and die. Soon, these plays became too dramatic for church purposes; so, priests ordered the removal of drama from the church. Between the 1300’s and 1400’s, various workers’ guilds cooperated in staging cycles of plays that dramatized the whole history of human race. According to the Elements of literature book (page 283 paragraph 2), parts of four cycles of these plays have been preserved and named after the towns where they probably came from. These cycles were named, York, Chester, Coventry, and Wakefield. Gradually, the plays became less religious. They often relied on deus ex machina, an artificial device arbitrarily used to resolve a plot. Later, comedy was incorporated into the plays. This clashing of comedy and serious drama showed the English skills of directors and producers. In the early 1500’s, a new kind of play called an Interlude was introduced. Interludes were one-act plays that combined many styles of plays. In the mid-sixteenth century, performing drama in a permanent building came about. Plays were still performed in marketplaces and courtyards after the first theaters were built. James Burbage built the first public theater called the “Theater” in 1576. Shortly after, a playhouse called the Curtain was built; then came other theaters like the Rose, Swan, Fortune, and the Red Bull. The most popular public theater at the time though was the “ Globe”. The Globe was nicknamed “ The Wooden O” because of its great O-shaped structure. The structure was three stories high and surrounded a yard with an open space in the middle. The Globe would later be the foundation for young writers to display their work in plays. One of these young writers was man named William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare was and still is the father of English drama. Shakespeare wrote about love and passion. He also wrote about tragedy and Romance. He is well known today in works such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and his sonnets. One of his most famous works as a playwright was the Tragical History of Macbeth. This play was about a man named Macbeth who was driven by ambition to murder his king, to become king. This popular play by Shakespeare was inspired by the real-life events of a man named Macbeth. Macbeth was a real character who served as King of Scotland, about 1040 to 1057 A.D. According to Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Macbeth had a legitimate reason to claim the throne over King Duncan. Duncan I of Scotland was born in 1001. He ascended to the throne at the age of thirty-three after killing his grandfather, Malcolm II. He was a spoiled and over zealous young man whose reign was spoiled with failed campaigns and death for his people. To gain the respect of his people, Duncan decided to invade Northumberland and attack Durman. The campaign was a disaster. When he got back to Scotland, unhappy lords who later revolted greeted him. His cousin Macbeth, Lord of Moray, was one of the lords involved. Macbeth later slew Duncan and ascended the throne with his wife cousin, Gruach, at his side. Duncan’s sons fled at this time. Malcolm went to England while Donaldbain went to Ireland. Both later returned and reigned as kings. Before Gruach married Macbeth, she was the wife of Gillecomgain, one of Duncan’s sons. He and Malcolm had murdered Macbeth’s father in 1020. Gillecomgain and Gruach, the granddaughter of Kenneth III, had one son named Lulach. In 1027, Gruach was widowed when her husband was burned...
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