Topics: Macbeth, James I of England, William Shakespeare Pages: 2 (556 words) Published: December 11, 2013
Macbeth is a play of contradiction and ambition. Driven to becoming King, Macbeth will kill all and any that get in his way. He puts his faith in the words and prophesies of three witches, after their first one (that he will become Thane of Cawdor) comes through. Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, is instrumental is Macbeth's ambition, egging him on when he fears he has gone to far, and scheming of greatness. It was written by William Shakespeare between 1603 and 1607. One of the greatest tragedies ever written, the play was based on the true story of Mac Bethad mac Findlaich, King of the Scots in the 11th century. It is known that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth partially as a celebration of King James, who had just ascended the throne in 1603. King James had a great fascination with witches, and the witches of Macbeth were likely inspired by his interest. In addition, much of the plot of Macbeth is surmised to have been inspired by the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when a group of English Catholics attempted to assassinate King James of England, as well as King James VI of Scotland. Shakespeare adds a supernatural dimension that purposively conspires against Macbeth and his kingdom. On the level of human evil, Shakespeare's Scottish tragedy is about Macbeth's bloody rise to power, including the murder of the Scottish king, Duncan, and the guilt-ridden pathology of evil deeds generating still more evil deeds. As an integral part of this thematic web is the play's most memorable character, Lady Macbeth. Like her husband, Lady Macbeth's ambition for power leads her into an unnatural, phantasmagoric realm of witchcraft, insomnia and madness. But while Macbeth responds to the prophecies of the play's famous trio of witches, Lady Macbeth goes even further by figuratively transforming herself into an unnatural, desexualized evil spirit. The current trend of critical opinion is toward an upward reevaluation of Lady Macbeth, who is said to be dehumanized by her insanity and her...
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