The Themes Of Ideas In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1456 Words 6 Pages
For many years, scholars have analyzed the tragedy Macbeth and unearthed the background of the play. Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare in the 1600’s. Although Shakespeare had many original ideas, he was not uninfluenced by his surroundings. Political struggles were prevalent in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Two of the major issues were religious supremacy and King James’s II right to the throne. Like many people of the day, Shakespeare needed to prove his loyalty to the king and the Church of England. He used Macbeth to support his claims. The political influence infused in Macbeth is overwhelming. Also, Shakespeare’s Macbeth was similar to some of his other works with the same themes and character archetypes. The tragedies, …show more content…
He connected the line of King James to Banquo, who is portrayed as level-headed and given the right to rule. James was also connected to the line of Malcolm, Duncan’s heir, through his ancestor Marjorie Steward (Berry 377-379). Berry suggests that throughout Macbeth “all of the key protagonists of the play were James’s ancestors” (Berry 377). Not only are James’s ancestors said to have the right to the throne, but they are also portrayed as the “good guys” of the plot. The witches tell Banquo that his descendants would be kings. For Macbeth, they predict that he will become king (Shakespeare 1.3.51-71). Although Banquo and Macbeth both are given the same type of prophecy, Macbeth is the only one that takes matters into his own hands and becomes a “bloody tyrant” (Berry 373). Also, James was “implicitly represented, like Macduff, as one ‘not born of a woman’, who had inherited the throne through a phoenix-like regeneration of English sovereignty” (Berry 379). James did not come to be king through many men, but through the blood line of many women. Macbeth killed Duncan out of desire for the throne. Macbeth goes insane and his actions eventually lead to his demise. Shakespeare demonstrated that opposing the sovereign ruler always leads to destruction. This counteracts the plot by stating submission to the rightful ruler out …show more content…
Pia Brînzeu acknowledges that “the interest in magic represents a form of rebellion against tradition that aims to discover new creative forms of existence as well as a desire to rehabilitate ancient cosmologies by those who have lost faith in Christianity or in the very idea of a divinely ordered world” (Brînzeu 252). King James persecuted witches to the utmost extent. People were expected to abide by the regulations the church and monarchy laid regarding the occult. He cemented the foundation for England’s policies on witchcraft and occultism. It was considered to be a crime to be associated with the occult and all interest was regarded suspiciously, with the notable exclusion of James’s own interest (Lucking 322). Women were supposedly weaker to the occult than men were so witchcraft was considered a primarily woman trait. James says that women are frailer than men and they get caught in the Devils traps easier. King James uses the Bible to justify his beliefs about women and the occult by saying that the devil ensnared Eve easier than Adam, a man (323). In this time, there were four categories for a woman to belong to: the romantic woman, the virago, the courtesan and the wife (Brînzeu 255). Naturally, witches did not belong to any of these, therefore, they were considered to be outcasts. Those who are interested in magic reject tradition and Christianity. An act was passed specifically for

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