Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Read the slides in this presentation to answer the following questions:. Who was King at the time Macbeth was written? How did this affect the play (i.e., what was added/changed)? How is Macbeth a tragedy? How was Macbeth’s story traditionally viewed by people?
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Shakespeare took the basic story of Duncan and Macbeth from Hollinshed’s Chronicles, which dates the reign of these two Scottish monarchs between 1034 - 1057.
History says….Shakespeare says… questions:
According to the Chronicles, the real Macbeth became king in 1040 after defeating Duncan, who was a weak, youthful ruler with little experience. Macbeth reigned for 17 years.
To obtain confessions, James and those acting on his behalf extracted the “truth” the hard way.
These are some of the real instruments of torture used by the English & Scottish during the middle ages.
The thumb screws in the back were used for, well, breaking thumbs, while the metal circle with the arc was placed atop the head and in the mouth, slowly cutting out the person’s tongue with each movement of their mouth!
With these tools to look forward to, you did not want to irritate those in charge or be accused of being a witch!
A favorite method of torture involved the rope to the left; people were hung, drawn (pulled apart at the limbs) and quartered, with body parts sent around the kingdom as a warning (hence the head on the pike to the right).
The wooden rods were pushed slowly under the fingernails until they pierced the fingertips; then, they were lit on fire! While the pliers had many uses, the rope attached to the metal rod next to it was unique; the rope was placed around the skull, and the rod was twisted until the rope grew so tight, it literally popped the skull open!
All of these powers appear in Macbeth!
Macbeth was seen as a
A “man of high standard who falls from that high because of a flaw that has affected many” - Aristotle
characters, and conflicts are