Historicism In Macbeth Essay

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Authors and playwrights are often influenced by the constantly evolving society and culture around them. William Shakespeare is no exception. Being born during the Elizabethan era, Shakespeare grew up during the pinnacle of the English Renaissance and was exposed to the heightened flourish of new types of English art, literature, music, and theatre. Under Elizabeth I, English theatre became oriented towards the upper classes despite all the social classes saw the same play, they even included costume color-coding that reflected the social class of the characters. Shakespeare’s theatrical style developed during this era and when King James I became king, his style was again greatly influenced. Some of Shakespeare’s most prominent plays were written during this time and they remain well known in the literary community. In particular, his play Macbeth is widely discussed because it brings a wide array of questions with it including: What is Shakespeare trying to say about the political climate during his time and why? By reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth with a New Historicism criticism, the question can be explored and answered. New Historicism criticism considers the time period in which the work was written in but not in the traditional sense. According to Lois Tyson in his guide on literary theory, traditional historians ask questions like “What happened during this time?” or “What do these events tell us about history?” On the other hand, new historicists ask more insightful

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