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Discrepancies and Similarities between Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth and History

Decent Essays
During the eleventh century, an age of discordance, people quarrel over the throne and its succession. William Shakespeare, a playwright of the Renaissance, sculpts events from this era into a dramatic sequence of events. The Tragedy of Macbeth displays Macbeth, a zealous thane, and his successful homicide which results in his succession of the throne and his downfall. Each of The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare and history has discrepancies as well as similarities between its characters, settings, and plot events.
One element that varies and coincides between Shakespeare’s Macbeth and its historical account is the characters. According to Shakespeare, Macbeth has a right to the throne through his title: “Hail to thee, Thane of
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Macbeth announces that Duncan is going to die while he is asleep in Macbeth’s castle (II, i, 63-64). Shakespeare and history both say that Duncan dies in 1040, but historical accounts say that Duncan dies in a battle near Elgin rather than in Macbeth’s castle as Shakespeare describes (Encyclopaedia). Shakespeare tells that Macbeth’s crowning takes place in 1040 at Scone: “He is already named, and gone to Scone / To be invested” (II, iv, 31-32). Macduff tells Ross that Macbeth is already going to Scone to get the crown so that he can become king (II, iv, 31-32). Parallel to Shakespeare’s rendition, history states that Macbeth, like all Scottish kings between Kenneth I and Charles II, goes to Scone to get the crown when he becomes king in 1040 (Columbia University). In Macbeth, Macbeth dies in a field near Dunsinane in 1057: “Though Birnam Wood be come to Dunsinane, / And though opposed, being of no woman born, / Yet I will try the last. Before my body / I throw my warlike shield” (V, viii, 30-32). Macbeth says this right before his bloody death near Dunsinane (V, viii, 30-32). The Shakespearean version is akin to history in that Macbeth’s death takes place in 1057, but the two are also dissimilar due to the fact that history states that Macbeth’s death took place at Lumphanan (Encyclopaedia). Most of the settings in Macbeth occur at the same times that historical
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