Essay on Shakespeare Alterations from the Original Macbeth

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Mac Bethad mac Findlaích became king of the Scots after Duncan’s killing in 1040 and was murdered in 1057 by Malcolm III in battle . William Shakespeare immortalized Macbeth and his life story in his famous play which goes by the very same name: Macbeth. Shakespeare used Holinshed's Chronicles by Raphael Holinshed as his primary source, the basis for the plot of the play. Shakespeare made a considerable number of alterations in the story line and form. In this essay, I will explore what changes Shakespeare made and for what reason.
In Macbeth, a thane Macbeth hears a prophecy by three witches: he will be king. Macbeth decides to take help faith and kill king Duncan. His character changes dramatically in Shakespeare’s narration and finally …show more content…

If Shakespeare had not chosen to alter the not so palatable history he found in the Chronicles by adding sensational art and more dramatic effect, the play would not have conveyed the message in the very effective way it does now and with that emotional appeal, since “catching the conscience of Macbeth, and through him, of the audience was surely a major source of the play’s power and a source that helps immensely to explain why there is so much sensational art in the play.”
In addition, the audience needed to be kept intrigued but “perhaps a major [other] purpose of sensational drama was to pare of the ‘brawniness’ from the consciences of the audience” .
Another major alteration is the different character of Macbeth and Banquo as portrayed by Shakespeare in comparison to the Chronicles.
Holinshed did not given a sufficient description of Macbeth’s character, which is not odd considering his purpose was to give a historical overview and not an extensive biography. On the other side of the coin, Shakespeare needed a well-defined character in order to write his play and convey his message, which entails characters’ metamorphoses. Therefore, Shakespeare altered Macbeth’s character and added some ideas of his own.
Comparing the Chronicles and Macbeth, there is striking discord regarding Macbeth’s character when he eventually has become king. The Chronicles put forward all kinds of good laws implemented

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