Macbeth: Fact vs. Fiction

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Macbeth: Fact vs. Fiction Simply the name itself has become famous throughout literary history; Macbeth. This tragedy of five acts worth, written by William Shakespeare was first performed in 1606. From then on, speculations and questions arose. Who was this astounding character that surprised people with his pride and ambition? Many may have been surprised to find out how very little resemblance the play character bore to the actual historical figure. The real Mac Bethad mac Findláich, or Macbeth, as named in English, was born in Scotland around 1005. His father, Mormaer of Moray hailed from Finland, while his mother was the second daughter of Malcolm II, a previous king of Scotland who had died a few years before his birth. Thus we may infer that Macbeth had always aspired to become king some day, being that he descended from royal blood. In older writings, it is said that Lady Macbeth was a bit older than him, and had actually been the wife of a rival he killed; it is also said she had never loved her first husband but immediately found a well-suited partner in Macbeth, who shared her ambition. These may be some of the facts that inspired Shakespeare to give life to their ambitious attitudes and thirst for power. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, however, we can only imagine Macbeth’s upbringing or who his parents were, what they may have been like. Instead of making him a direct royal descendant, Shakespeare molds the historic figure and turns him into a hero of sorts, favored by the king and many others. It is not mentioned that his wife is older but we do see that she has a firm grip on her husband, at times even challenging his manhood throughout the play to convince him to do things. Throughout history, women haven’t always been treated equally; and even today, not entirely so. A woman’s place was behind her husband, helping him, caring for him and bearing his children. The possibility that Lady Macbeth is older than Macbeth is obvious in the way they treat

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