Characterization Of Macbeth

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But with this answer comes another question: why would Shakespeare name the main character Macbeth when his monarchs were Elizabeth I and James I? What message was he trying to send by using the name of Macbeth, the king of Scotland in 1040? In Jonathan Goldberg’s essay “Speculations: Macbeth and source” in Jean E Howard’s anthology on Shakespeare, Goldberg explains how the King Duncan in the play is a reflection of the real life Duncan I from Scotland in the 1030s when Scotland was going through distressing times. He suggests that real-life King Duncan is represented in a way that makes him seem weak through the character King Duncan. Goldberg perceives Duncan’s death as his own fault. If he wasn’t so trusting of others, he wouldn’t have …show more content…

There were two conspiracies against him during his ascension to the English throne in 1603, the Bye Plot and Main Plot, and in 1605, there was the aforementioned Gunpowder Plot. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth with dark themes to reflect on James’ reign as he was experiencing it. By relating the tone of the history of 11th century Scotland to the tone of 17th century England, Shakespeare is better able to imply his warning to James I that he might be killed because of how weak he was as a monarch. To further increase the significance of his warning, Shakespeare’s writing style also changes during James’ reign compared to Elizabeth’s reign. While Shakespeare was creating more romantic and positive tragedies and comedies during the Elizabethan era(such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet), during the early 17th century, the Jacobean era, Shakespeare began writing darker tragedies such as Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth. Shakespeare’s writing in the Jacobean era were more about how persuasive corruption can ruin a hero and create a fatal flaw. One way a new historicist might look at this insight is to go back to James I. In the article “The Historical Context of Macbeth” from Gale, “One of King James' greatest passions was the study of witchcraft” and in 1597, he wrote Daemonologie, a book on witchcraft. James I was pulled in by the corruption of witchcraft in this context and that would

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