Historical context
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Historical context. How can we use it to consider authorial intent and audience interpretations? Please be reading a book as we prepare who will be presenting presentations and quizzes. Context: Succession in Shakespeare’s time.

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Historical context

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Historical context

Historical context

How can we use it to consider authorial intent and audience interpretations?

Please be reading a book as we prepare who will be presenting presentations and quizzes.


Context succession in shakespeare s time

Context: Succession in Shakespeare’s time

For Shakespeare’s audience, succession – how one King or queen followed the last one – was an important political issue. From about 1590, people worried about who would succeed Queen Elizabeth. She had no children. The law was complicated, and Elizabeth refused to allow any discussion about it, so nobody was sure. When she finally died in 1603, James, already King of Scotland, was declared the next King of England.

  • Succession:

    the action or right of succeeding to a throne, title, or property.

When he became King, James chose Shakespeare and his fellow actors as his royal company – the King’s Men. Perhaps this influenced Shakespeare when, about three years later, he wrote about Scotland and succession.

In the world of the play, though, succession is different.

Duncan can choose who will be the next King. When he chooses Malcolm (one of his two sons), Duncan makes it impossible for Macbeth to become King lawfully…


Context witches in shakespeare s time

Context: Witches in Shakespeare’s time

Throughout Shakespeare’s life, witches and witchcraft were the object of fevered fascination. King James I, ruler of England when Macbeth was written, ___________wholeheartedly in witches. He even wrote a book about witches’ _________and how to spot them. Persecutions reached terrifying proportions – between 1560 and 1603 over 16,000 __________were convicted of being witches and ___________to death.

Witches were credited with the powers such as predicting the ________, flying, bringing on night in daytime, causing fogs and killing __________. People believed that Witches could raise evil _________and that they were responsible for bad harvests, bad weather and disease.

England was a Christian country and though deep divisions existed between Protestants and Catholics, nearly everyone believed in Heaven and ________. Most people believed in witches and thought that they were servants of the ________. Many of those watching Macbeth saw in it the signs of a man and woman seized by demonic _____________and temptation from the devil.


Context witches in shakespeare s time1

Context: Witches in Shakespeare’s time

Throughout Shakespeare’s life, witches and witchcraft were the object of fevered fascination. King James I, ruler of England when Macbeth was written, believed wholeheartedly in witches He even wrote a book about witches’ powers and how to spot them. Persecutions reached terrifying proportions – between 1560 and 1603 over 16,000 women were convicted of being witches and burned to death.

Witches were credited with the powers such as predicting the future, flying, bringing on night in daytime, causing fogs and killing animals. People believed that Witches could raise evil spirits and that they were responsible for bad harvests, bad weather and disease.

England was a Christian country and though deep divisions existed between Protestants and Catholics, nearly everyone believed in Heaven and Hell. Most people believed in witches and thought that they were servants of the devil. Many of those watching Macbeth saw in it the signs of a man and woman seized by demonic possession and temptation from the devil.


Supernatural women

Supernatural & Women

  • What influences does the supernatural element have on action and atmosphere of the play?

  • Why do you think Shakespeare included witches in his play and had the supernatural influence the characters?

    For example: why have Lady Macbeth

    refer so often to evil and supernatural

    things? What might Shakespeare be trying

    to say about her character? What effect

    might this have on an audience’s

    Impressions?

  • Why might Shakespeare have made

    Lady Macbeth act differently than what

    was expected of women in that time?

  • How might Jacobean audiences have

    reacted to Lady Macbeth?

Act 1, Scene 5: LADY MACBETH

Come, you spirits

That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,

And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full

Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.

Stop up the access and passage to remorse,

[…]

And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring ministers,

Wherever in your sightless substances

You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,

And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,

That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,

Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark

To cry “Hold, hold!”


Tomorrow writing the assessment

Remember this is formative. It will be marked over half term and you will receive feedback on your argument, writing technique, analysis of evidence. You will then be able to redraft sections.

Tomorrow: WRITING THE ASSESSMENT

  • You will spend the first ten/fifteen minutes:

  • Looking at your feedback from the homework.

  • You will have the question and the key scene (2:2) in front of you for you to read. ‘How does Shakespeare construct our understanding of Lady Macbeth’s character?’

    Is she always powerful? Is she weak in some ways? Is she irrational? How do we understand Lady Macbeth’s personality especially during this scene? (2:2)

  • You will have the Macbeth text if you wish to refer to any other scenes to support your argument (has she changed? Stayed the same?)

  • You should make a plan of your argument and key points you want to write about – plan them into a logical order (introduction, paragraphs, conclusion)

  • You will have Tuesday and Wednesday to write your essay.


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