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William Shakespeare & “Macbeth”. Nobody knows Shakespeare’s true birthday. The closest we can come is the date of his baptism on April the 26th, 1564.

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Presentation on theme: "William Shakespeare & “Macbeth”. Nobody knows Shakespeare’s true birthday. The closest we can come is the date of his baptism on April the 26th, 1564."— Presentation transcript:

1 William Shakespeare & “Macbeth”

2 Nobody knows Shakespeare’s true birthday. The closest we can come is the date of his baptism on April the 26th, By tradition and guesswork, William is assumed to have been born three days earlier on April the 23rd, a date now commonly used to celebrate the famous playwright’s birthday. APRIL 23, 1564 William Shakespeare

3 Beginnings Born and raised in Stratford- upon- Avon, a market town in Warwickshire, England.

4 Love and Marriage At the age of 18, Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway

5 On the Stage… It is not known with certainty when Shakespeare first started writing or putting his work on stage, but there are records of his performances on the London stage as early as 1592.

6 Macbeth Written by Shakespeare in 1605 Macbeth is a man who overthrows the rightful King of Scotland.

7 Background on Macbeth Shakespeare wrote “Macbeth” at the beginning of the King James I reign Before James succeeded Elizabeth I, he was King of Scotland Placing the play in James’ homeland probably pleased him

8 The Real Macbeth Macbeth was a real King of Scotland Reigned from

9 Unlike the Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play… The Real Macbeth had a legitimate claim to the throne The Real Macbeth was a strong leader The Real Macbeth’s reign was successful

10 Connections for British Society “Remember, remember, the fifth of November- Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason- Should ever be forgot…”

11 Sound Familiar?

12 Explanation In November 1605 the Gunpowder Plot was discovered Guy Fawkes and his followers (Roman Catholics) planned to blow up Parliament. They wanted to bring down the British gov’t and put Catholic rulers on the throne

13 Further Explanation Plot was discovered and men were tried & killed as traitors Shakespeare sided with the king and felt that a play about treason and traitors would do well during this time

14 …So this is a comedy, right? Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. (It is also his shortest)

15 Aside from the violence, Shakespeare uses several literary elements to emphasize the feeling of evil: Heavy Emphasis on the supernatural including Witches, dreams, spells, ghosts

16 The Curse of Macbeth According to a theatrical superstition, called The Scottish Curse, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre will cause disaster.

17 Because of this superstition, the lead character is most often referred to as the Scottish King or Scottish Lord. Sometimes Mackers is used to avoid saying the name, mostly in North America.

18 Origins Those who believe in the curse, claim that real spells are cast in the three witches scene

19 Productions of Macbeth are said to have been plagued with accidents, many ending in death. According to legend, this dates back to the premiere of the play: an actor died because a real dagger was mistakenly used instead of the proppremiere daggerprop

20 Origins Cont… According to the superstition, Shakespeare got a few of the lines from an actual coven of witches and when they saw the play they were greatly offended and cursed the play.

21 Another tradition tells that the original propmaster could not find a suitable pot for a cauldron and stole one from a coven (assembly of witches), who then cursed the play in revenge for the theft

22 It is believed that breaking the taboo calls the ghosts of the three witches to the show and it is they who cause all the mishaps.

23 The last, and probably most spectacular view of the curse is that Shakespeare used the curse in the play to actually curse the play himself, guaranteeing that no one other than himself would be able to direct the play.

24 Reversing the Curse When the name of the play is spoken in a theatre, tradition requires the person who spoke it to leave, perform traditional cleansing rituals, and be invited back in. The rituals are supposed to ward off the evil that uttering the play's name is feared to bring on.rituals

25 Cleansing Rituals The rituals include turning three times, spitting over one's left shoulder, swearing, or reciting a line from another of Shakespeare's plays. Popular lines for this purpose include, "Angels and ministers of grace defend us" ( Hamlet 1.IV), "If we shadows have offended" ( A Midsummer Night's Dream 5.ii), and "Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you" ( The Merchant of Venice, 3.IV). A more elaborate cleansing ritual involves leaving the theater, spinning around and brushing oneself off, and saying "Macbeth" three times before entering again. Hamlet A Midsummer Night's Dream The Merchant of Venice


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