Analysis of William Shakespeare's Macbeth and Its Historical Background

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Analysis of William Shakespeare's Macbeth and Its Historical Background

I have recently been studying 'Macbeth', a well-known play by William Shakespeare. In this essay I am going to analyse the play and its historical background. I will also look at the factors that influenced Shakespeare when he was writing the play such as James I, the new king of England and Scotland, how he detested witches, and how Shakespeare manipulated that knowledge. Furthermore, I will be examining the character Macbeth and what his motive to murder King Duncan was, and why he committed all of his evil deeds. Moreover, I shall write about what Shakespeare was trying to get across to his audiences and what he gained from
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This was called the Gunpowder Plot. Shakespeare then used the play to warn people that plotting against the King always ended in disaster and that nobody should do it. Shakespeare acquired the idea of Macbeth from Scottish history, but there was a problem. James believed Banquo to be one of his ancestors. In real life Banquo was an evil man and assisted in the murder of Duncan. However, as James thought that Banquo was one of his ancestors, Shakespeare had to transform Banquo into a likeable character to avoid angering James or displease him in any way. Shakespeare used the play to show that terrible things happen when a rightful king is murdered, because he knew that James thought that kings were chosen by God to have the right to rule - 'The Divine Right of Kings.'

Shakespeare must have consciously set out to write a play that would please King James I. Evidence shows that Shakespeare succeeded and James approved of the play. This led to Shakespeare's theatre company becoming more successful and popular, which led to Shakespeare becoming a wealthy businessman. Shakespeare enjoyed writing plays and was strongly interested in what drove people to commit evil acts and crimes. I think that 'Macbeth' demonstrates how somebody can jeopardize everything for the sake of greed and risk their reputation to achieve their ambition.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a real hero and
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