William Shakespeare ‘s Macbeth – A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream Essay examples

The play Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare in 1606. During this time, the reign of Queen Elizabeth I had just come to a close, and King James I of Scotland held the position of the throne. Shakespeare had written several plays for Queen Elizabeth I and most of them were light-hearted, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On the other hand, Shakespeare had written more cynical works, such as Hamlet and Macbeth during the reign of King James I. The belief in witches and witchcraft though had started when Queen Elizabeth I was in power. The ideas of the Renaissance combined with the newly founded ability of the printing press increased the public’s interest in magic and witchcraft. Witches were commonly accused of causing unexplainable events like that of the Bubonic Plague. The old, poor, unprotected, and single women/widows who owned pets were often the qualities that were associated with being a witch. (Alchin 1) These “witches” would be hunted, put on trial, and executed by the people. In addition, in order for the people to protect themselves from witches, they came up with ways to ward off the supernatural. For example, people would surround their houses in a circle of salt to prevent the witches from coming near. Shakespeare had written Macbeth for King James I as he was particularly superstitious and believed in witches. In the play, the supernatural contribute a significant role in Macbeth; the witches influence the decisions that the characters make. Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Banquo are the three whose actions reflect the influence of the supernatural.

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is introduced to the audience as a courageous, brave soldier who is loyal to his king. This all changes when he meets the three…

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…s dehumanized him because Macbeth was so caught up in having them go his way. He was prepared to take any measure needed in order to keep his title of King of Scotland. In addition, Macbeth never really doubts the witches. After the prophecy of his title “Thane of Cawdor” is right, he believes anything and everything they say. On the other hand, Banquo is a little more cautious. He is intrigued by the words spoken by the witches but does not completely trust the information they are giving. If the witches were excluded from Macbeth, all the murders throughout the course of the piece may have never occurred. It is interesting to see how significantly the supernatural influenced the plot. Shakespeare wrote this play “to enlighten King James I as to the consequences of a belief in witchcraft and the terrible wrongs already committed in punishing those accused.” (Marson)

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