Macbeth Context

Antonia Blankenberg
Slide Set by Antonia Blankenberg, updated more than 1 year ago
Antonia Blankenberg
Created by Antonia Blankenberg over 3 years ago


Some historical context around Shakespeare's Macbeth, including brief details about the man himself and the background to the play and the links to King James 1.

Resource summary

Slide 1

    William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare lived from 1564 to 1616.   He is one of the most well-known figures of English literature in the world.   He did not receive formal education past grammar school.   Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets in his time.

Slide 2

    Macbeth was first performed in 1606 under the reign of King James I.   Macbeth takes place in 11th Century Scotland and is inspired by a real Scottish king by the same name.   Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest play and one of the most violent.

Slide 3

    Shakespeare and King James I
    Of all the plays Shakespeare wrote under James’ reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects Shakespeare's close relationship with him.   James I was patron to Shakespeare's writing company.   Macbeth is set in Scotland, paying homage to James' Scottish lineage.   King James I was known to believe in superstition, influencing Shakespeare to include supernatural elements into the play.   At the time Macbeth was written, religion and the Divine Right of Kings were very topical. Shakespeare featured many elements of religion in his play.
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