Macbeth Context

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  • Macbeth Context
    • Monarch: King James I > Stuarts
      • Succeeded Queen Elizabeth (1603) > already King of Scotland
      • Critics: written to flatter new King > saw prob 1606
      • Echoes many of James' interests
        • Hollinshed > elaborate Stuart family tree > related to Banquo
          • Banquo never existed > created by Torians as source of Stuart Royalty
        • Hated regicides > Macbeth solely responsible > to please King James
        • Interested in Witchcraft
          • attended at least one witchcraft trial
          • visited Oxford 1605 > greeted by 3 witches > hailed him as descendant of Banquo
        • The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
          • one of key conspirators (Sur Everard Digby) was fave of James > mirrors Thane of Cawdor > fave of Duncan
        • Equivocation
          • 1606 Catholic priest accused of involvement in GP > committed perjury
            • Self-defence > had right to equivocate
          • Right to tell misleading half-truths
          • major theme of play
        • Honours
          • Malcolm's gift of Earldoms @ end of play
            • Reflect James's liberal giving of Eng titles to Scttish supporters
              • Actions resented by many of new subjects
                • No indication of resentment in play
    • Reading 'Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland' (1587) - Raphael Holinshed
      • Influenced Shakespeare's English History Plays
    • Dramatic Tradition
      • Influenced by popular Roman playwright Seneca
        • Seneca's Tragedies inc. soliloquies, ghosts, witches, magic, violent events, wrongs avenged, moral statements
      • Recollection of morality plays
        • dramatised bible stories > popular in middle ages
        • The Harrowing of Hell
          • Inspiration for Porter scene > Porter guards hell (castle) > Christ descends demands Satan releases all goo people imprisoned there
    • Witchcraft
      • Objects of morbid & fevered fascination
      • Characteristed reign of Eliz I > many suspected as witches = PERSECUTEd
        • Hanged/Burned to death
      • Propaganda used against: pamphlets describing lurid details of witch trials printed > effective sales
      • Credited with diabolical powers
        • Could predict future  fly, bring on night time in day, kill enemies etc
        • Cursed enemies > diseases, nightmares, sterility, could take demonic possession of people
        • raise evil spirits
      • Allowed Devil to suck the blood in exchange for a familiar
        • Accused > were examined for the 'Devil's MARK'
          • Shakespearean audience interpret LM's 'spot' as Devil's mark
      • Jame's I reign
        • 1604 ACT OF PARLIAMENT
          • anyone found guilty of witchcraft should be executed
            • those who confessed > did under torture/grip of delusions > mentally ill
        • 1590 > tried to been killed by group of witches
          • Personally interrogated one of them
          • Investigated other cases
        • Demonologie
          • written by James > published 1597
            • when became King of Eng ordered immediately printed in LDN
      • Fuelled by suspersition, misogny (hatred of women) > firm conviction that morality and religion were maintained
    • RELIGION
      • Protestant Eng
      • Deep divisions between Catholics and Protestants > remained
        • everyone, literally, believed in heaven & hell
          • lived in fear of eternal damnation
            • Consequenceof wtichcraft
              • Witchcraft
                • Objects of morbid & fevered fascination
                • Characteristed reign of Eliz I > many suspected as witches = PERSECUTEd
                  • Hanged/Burned to death
                • Propaganda used against: pamphlets describing lurid details of witch trials printed > effective sales
                • Credited with diabolical powers
                  • Could predict future  fly, bring on night time in day, kill enemies etc
                  • Cursed enemies > diseases, nightmares, sterility, could take demonic possession of people
                  • raise evil spirits
                • Allowed Devil to suck the blood in exchange for a familiar
                  • Accused > were examined for the 'Devil's MARK'
                    • Shakespearean audience interpret LM's 'spot' as Devil's mark
                • Jame's I reign
                  • 1604 ACT OF PARLIAMENT
                    • anyone found guilty of witchcraft should be executed
                      • those who confessed > did under torture/grip of delusions > mentally ill
                  • 1590 > tried to been killed by group of witches
                    • Personally interrogated one of them
                    • Investigated other cases
                  • Demonologie
                    • written by James > published 1597
                      • when became King of Eng ordered immediately printed in LDN
                • Fuelled by suspersition, misogny (hatred of women) > firm conviction that morality and religion were maintained

Comments

Dale McNerlin

Excellent :) x

pearle45

Awesome work!!

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