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A tragedy By William Shakespeare.  A tragedy: a literary work depicting serious events in which the main character, who is often high-ranking and dignified,

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Presentation on theme: "A tragedy By William Shakespeare.  A tragedy: a literary work depicting serious events in which the main character, who is often high-ranking and dignified,"— Presentation transcript:

1 A tragedy By William Shakespeare

2  A tragedy: a literary work depicting serious events in which the main character, who is often high-ranking and dignified, comes to an unhappy end---usually as a result of hamartia (literally: To miss the mark) or acting out of a tragic flaw or tragic error.

3  The Scottish Play is based loosely on an episode from history, the death of King Duncan at the hands of his kinsman Macbeth.

4  Shakespeare's source for his story is Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577)

5  Written in 1606  Performed at the Globe Theatre, London  Published in the First Folio of 1623

6  Genre: Tragedy  Setting (time): 11th century  Setting (place): Scotland, and briefly, England  Protagonist: Macbeth  Major Conflicts: Macbeth struggles with his conscience (before and after murder); defies fate (witches); opposes good (Malcolm and Macduff)

7  Scotland at the time was a violent and troubled country  The castle was the center of an aristocrat’s (thane’s) power  Political murder and revenge were not unusual means to gain power  Plundering Vikings and Norsemen attacked Scotland constantly

8  The play is the shortest of Shakespeare's tragedies, without diversions or subplots.  It chronicles Macbeth's seizing of power and subsequent destruction.  It is considered Shakespeare’s darkest work.  Macbeth’s rise and fall are the result of blind ambition.

9  Macbeth was intended to stir the interest of the new king, James I.  The play's focus on regicide, a supreme crime in Shakespeare's day, tied into the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot where English Roman Catholic conspirators plotted to blow up Parliament, King James, his queen and oldest son.

10  The play pays tribute to the interests and knowledge of King James. With patronage, a writer composes one of his works for a king, queen or another rich person for continued support.  This play compliments James by making Banquo, who is said to be his ancestor, a hero in the play. Historically, Banquo probably didn’t exist, yet in Shakespeare’s day, they were believed to have.  Macbeth focuses on issues of kinship and loyalty, important ideals to King James, who had survived an assassination attempt early in his life. His father had been murdered. His mother, Mary Queen of Scots, had been executed.

11  The questions of the role of the monarch and the duties of their subjects toward them were of major importance to King James.  A story suggests that King James wrote a letter of acknowledgment about the play to Shakespeare.  Shakespeare’s England, the political issue of succession and order were of major importance.  Belief in witchcraft was widespread.  In 1604, the practice of witchcraft became punishable by death because it was believed that it attempted to change God’s natural order.

12  Born in 1005 to a family that ruled Moray and Ross  He married Gruach, granddaughter to a High King of Scotland; no children  No historical evidence of Lady Macbeth’s influence on her husband  Duncan, an ineffective king, was 38 when he was killed, possibly by Macbeth  Macbeth ruled for 17 years, elected High King of Scotland in For the first 10 years, this competent king reformed the country.  Led Scotland in a long period of peace and stability

13  Actors often consider the play to be unlucky, and usually refer to it as “the Scottish play” rather than by name. To say the name of the play inside a theatre is considered to doom the production to failure.

14  Greed and Ambition (can subvert reason) :“From this moment, the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand”.  The natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society (Great Chain of Being):”The obscure bird clamored the livelong night. Some say the earth did shake.”  Appearances vs. Reality:“Fair is foul and foul is fair”.  (Free Will vs. Fate) Despite prophecies of the future, people are responsible for their own actions: “If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate.”  GUILT and its consequences!: “Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!”  Darkness, Occult, and Supernatural influences (Witches, etc.)

15  Blood  Clothing (Borrowed robes)  Natural order and Weather (nature)  Insomnia  Growth, planting, seeds  Health, medicine, disease  Darkness  Supernatural

16  1 st witch  2 nd witch  3 rd witch  King  Malcolm  Captain  Lennox  Lady Macbeth  Messenger  Ross  Macbeth  Banquo  Angus


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