The Gunpowder Plot In Shakespeare's Macbeth And The Gunpowder Plot

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Macbeth and the Gunpowder Plot
On March 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth the first of England died and her reign was gathered by King James the sixth of Scotland. With this new leadership, many citizens began to have hope for the future of their country. Prior to King James ' possession of the throne, Britain had decades of controversy between the new Protestant religion, and the tradition Catholic beliefs. Because King James had a Catholic mother, wife, and daughter it seemed as though he would turn from the previously developed Protestant country and reestablish England Catholicism. However, because of his Protestant upbringings, James had no intentions of fully converting to Catholicism. The discontent of Catholic citizens grew so much during this
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His play focuses on the power-hungry character, Macbeth, who murders King Duncan of Scotland so he himself may reign. The conflict between Macbeth and Duncan is easily relatable to the plotters against James in the Gunpowder Plot. Along with that idea, Macbeth uses many characters and ideas to flatter King James, like the use of witches throughout the story. He also uses elements in the play to celebrate the idea of having a king at all. Through Macbeth, Banquo, and Duncan, Shakespeare is able to bring the themes from the Gunpowder Plot: power, ambition, and deceit to the stage while also appealing to the new King, enlightening his viewers, and boosting the theaters …show more content…
By relating that treacherous event to his play, Shakespeare was able to enlighten his viewers while also entertaining them, which helped give the theater a positive name, henceforth, keeping them open.
Lastly, and most importantly, Shakespeare used the results of the Gunpowder plot in Macbeth to show the viewers what a life would be like without a king to rule. In his play, Shakespeare had Macbeth and Lady Macbeth play the role of the plotters from the Gunpowder Plot. Unlike the plotters, however, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were successful with their murder of King Duncan, and Shakespeare used this as not only as a way to explain the idea behind the Gunpowder Plot, but to show the readers what could have happened if it had been successful.
In the beginning of the play, the Weird Sisters give Macbeth his prophecy which claims his to be the Thane of Glamis, the Thane of Cawdor, and the future King. When Macbeth shares this news with his wife, she instantly becomes power hungry and forms a plan to kill the current King Duncan. As Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are plotting their murder, Lady Macbeth claims, “Look like th ' innocent flower, But be the serpent under ’t” (Sparknotes M). This meeting where Lady Macbeth explains to Macbeth how he must kill the King and act while doing so is similar to the meeting of the plotters before the Gunpowder

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