Connor Taylor Mrs. Hoots AP Literature 15 December



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December 2017


is the play of a warrior’s rise to power and tragic downfall based in
medieval Scotland. Macbeth, a successful soldier, is the main character of the
play whose goal is the kingship of Scotland. Three witches inform Macbeth in
the beginning of the play that he will become the next king of Scotland. The
witches also predict that the kings after Macbeth will not come from his
descent, but actually from Banquo. While in the beginning Macbeth wants to just
sit back and wait for fate to happen, but when King Duncan nominates his on
Malcolm as the next king Macbeth wants to spring into action. Macbeth is not
completely sure what he should do, but his wife persuades him that regicide,
the murder of the king, will be the fastest way for her husband, Macbeth, to
become the next king. Macbeth and his wife have the King Duncan visit Macbeth’s
castle leaving the perfect opportunity for them to murder King Duncan. While
Macbeth first is not sure of the plan, his wife again convinces him otherwise.

Lady Macbeth drugs the guards and then Macbeth goes to the king’s room and
murders him while he is asleep. After the killing, Macduff arrives at the
castle to wake the king to make sure King Duncan is ready for his journey. When
the murder is found out King Duncan’s sons flee the country and Macbeth is made
the next king of Scotland. Macbeth, remembering the second prediction, hires
murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. The Murderers succeed with
Banquo’s murder, but Fleance escapes. Macbeth being scared goes back to the
witches to learn more and this time they tell him that he will die by a man not
born of woman. Macbeth prepares for battle and meets Macduff who is not born of
woman, but came into the world by cesarean section. Macduff kills Macbeth and
Malcolm becomes the new king of Scotland.

            William Shakespeare was born in
Stratford, England about 100 miles northwest of London. There is no exact date
to when he was born, but we celebrate his birthday on April 23, which was the
day he died. Shakespeare’s parents were John and Mary Shakespeare who were both
practicing Catholics at the time. Shakespeare was the third of eight children
in his family. Shakespeare also most likely attended a local grammar school
where he could learn about Latin classics and grammar. No one knows for sure if
he finished his studies or ended up helping his father in an apprenticeship.

When Shakespeare was eighteen he married a girl named Anne Hathaway and the
wedding was thought to be arranged due to her being pregnant. They had three
kids together and one of them being Hamnet, Shakespeare only son who passed
away when he was eleven. The two other, Susanna and Judith, lived much longer.

It is recorded that for most of their marriage Shakespeare and Anna lived
separately because he wanted to pursue his theater and writing career in
London. Apparently it was not until later in their lives that they moved back
in together.

            Between 1585 and 1592 Shakespeare
completely goes of record where many historians have no idea what he did
between those seven years. states, “Historians have speculated that he worked as a
schoolteacher, studied law, traveled across continental Europe or joined an
acting troupe that was passing through Stratford.” One historian even thinks
that Shakespeare had to flee because he poached deer from a local politicians
estate. At least by 1592 though Shakespeare had begun his acting career and had
already written a couple of plays. He also by this time spent enough time to in
London to write about its people, culture and geography. Many of his works and
even his works in the beginning of his career demonstrated how much knowledge
he had of Europe.

            Shakespeare’s first plays had all
three of the major dramatic genres in them like tragedy, comedy and history.

Shakespeare in the beginning of his career was associated with a couple of
different theater companies when his earliest of works were created and acted
out on stage. Beginning is 1594 he began working for a company named the Lord
Chamberlain’s Men whose name changed to King’s Men because at one point James I
appointed himself as the main patron. In 1599 Shakespeare partnered with other
people involved in the King’s Men and established one of the most famous
theaters, the Globe Theater. Shakespeare during this time wrote his most well
known plays including “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,”  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “King Lear,”
“Hamlet” and “The Tempest.” Shakespeare during his time was known for his poetry
especially since in 1593 the London theaters were closed due to a plague
outbreak in the area.

            Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616
at the age of 52 to unknown reasons. Shakespeare also had a famous epitaph that
said, “Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves
my bones.” Because of this his bones have not been moved even though
archeologist want to know how he died. Two of Shakespeare’s former colleagues
published some of his plays called the First Folio. Overall Shakespeare is seen
as one of the most influential writers in English history and his plays
continue to be performed around the world.

takes place in Scotland, Europe during the Middle Ages. While most of the
scenes take place in Scotland there are a few scenes that are set in England.

Shakespeare also when describing Scotland and in his scene his word usage
describes Scotland suggest more of evil. While on the other hand, England is
described to be more like a saintly who sends his men to conquer the evil
powers of the Scottish King, Macbeth. Macbeth
is the only play by Shakespeare that takes place in Scotland. The reason
why it is the only Shakespeare play based in Scotland is because after Queen
Elizabeth I died in 1603, and King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James
I of England. All of this happened a few years before Shakespeare wrote the
play. Back then all the plays were performed at the discretion of the King, so
Shakespeare had a big interest in flattering James’ I ego to help his own self
out. Macbeth also has some historical
context by the real Macbeth actually did kill King Duncan in order that he
would become king. Although Macbeth is based on a real Macbeth from the 11th
century Scotland, the Macbeth in the play is nothing like the historical
Macbeth in real life.

            While the play takes place in
Scotland for several of reasons, Shakespeare’s play Macbeth atmosphere is quite dark and ominous nature. The theme of
the play actually never changes throughout the play and stays dark the whole time.

Actually, the play instead becomes darker and more ominous over the course of
the play. Also Shakespeare utilizes witches throughout the play because at the
times witches and witchcraft were very popular. Witches also added to the
setting since it affected the mood of the play and serves as a literary element
of foreshadowing to what is going to happen in the play, Macbeth. Also the battlefields and castles in the play help
intensify the overall atmosphere of the play.

            Many of the places in Macbeth are at castles and various other
locations dispersed throughout Scotland. One of them being Forres, a castle in
Scotland where Duncan lives. Macbeth lives at Forres when he becomes king of
Scotland and Banquo was murdered about a mile away from the castle. Inverness
is another castle that plays a major role in the play. Inverness is actually
where Macbeth lives before he becomes the king of Scotland. Also this is where
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth actually kill King Duncan so that Macbeth can fulfill
the prophecy that was told to him. Another major location that is in the play
is Fife, where Macduff and his family live during the play. Macbeth actually
hires thugs to kill of Macduff’s kin there because Macduff left for England.

The reason why Macbeth can send thugs to kill them all is because Macduff left
his family unprotected when he left for England. Birnam Wood is another
location in Macbeth and is a forest
close to Dunsinane Hill. At this location Malcolm’s men disguise themselves
with tree branches so when they move towards Macbeth’s castle at Dunsinane
Macbeth will not know how many men are marching towards him. Also it will look
like the forest is actually moving which is part of the prophecy that the
witches told Macbeth. Dunsinane Hill is a hill where Macbeth has a castle and
where he waits for Malcolm’s men to come. The only place that was not given an
exact location by Shakespeare during the play was when Macbeth was with the
Witches. Nosweatshakespeare states, “And the scenes with the witches, though presumes
in Scotland, are given no specific location by Shakespeare – simply referred to
as “A desert place” or “A cavern”.”

            The following passage that is being
analyzed comes from Act 1 Scene 5 in Macbeth on page thirty. The scene starts
out by Lady Macbeth reading a letter from Macbeth when she is alone. The first
sentence of the passage states, “They met me in the day of success, and I have
learned by the perfectest report they have more in them than mortal knowledge.”
Macbeth in the letter when saying “they” is referring to the witches that he
spoke to in the beginning of the play. Also when it reads, “day of success” the
line is referring to him winning in battle that very day. Another thing that
Macbeth refers to is how the witches have more than mortal knowledge, which
means they have supernatural knowledge.

The next sentence talks about how Macbeth
“burned in desire to question them further.” The sentences says in full, “When
I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into
which they vanished.” Shakespeare is using personification by stating that
Macbeth’s desire was burning to ask more questions about the witches. The
second part of that sentence proclaims how the witches just made themselves air
which means they just vanished into thin air even though Macbeth wanted to ask
more questions about his prophecy.

The third sentence on the page states,
“Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives from the king, who
all-hailed me ‘Thane of Cawdor,’ by which title, before, these weird sisters
saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time with ‘Hail, king that
shalt be!'” The beginning of the sentence talks about how Macbeth was in
amazement with the prophecies that the witches had just given him. Also the
word “missives” means message and in this context Shakespeare means for the
word to stand for messengers. “Thane of Cawdor” is also a major part of this
passage because by the witches prophesying that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor
and then the messengers showing up by referring to him as Thane of Cawdor. It
demonstrates how the prophecies of the witches are true and that more will
likely come true. It is also foreshadowing with the likelihood of the prophecy
of Macbeth ruling of Scotland coming into fruition. Thane of Cawdor is also big
since thane is a person who has land from the king in return for loyalty
towards the king.

The fourth sentence of the passage states,
“This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness,
that thou might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what
greatness is promised thee.” Overall this sentence is just talking about how
Macbeth felt that he needed to share what was prophesied to him with his wife,
Lady Macbeth, in order that they could rejoice together in what was to come in
the future. Also the last sentence of the letter from Macbeth is Macbeth
telling Lady Macbeth to keep it all a secret and goodbye.

The second part of the passage is where
Lady Macbeth finally finishes reading the letter and begins to have a short
soliloquy. The first sentence Lady Macbeth states, “Glamis thou art, and
Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised.” The first line of Lady Macbeth
speaking shows how she is very proud and demanding in how she speaks. The second
part of the sentence demonstrates how she wants Macbeth to become king by her
stating that he will get what he was promised.

The next part Lady Macbeth says, “Yet I do
fear thy nature.” In this short line Lady Macbeth is exclaiming how she
believes that her husband does not have what it takes to become the next ruler
of Scotland and seize the crown.

The next couple of lines stated by Lady
Macbeth says, “It is full o’th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest
way: thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without ambition, but
without The illness should attend it.” The first part of the sentence
Shakespeare compares Macbeth’s nature to milk of human kindness meaning he is
too kind. Also the next part of the sentence Lady Macbeth demonstrates how she
believes that Macbeth wants to be great, but does not have what it takes to
strike at his opportunity. Another thing Shakespeare compares is by stating how
Macbeth does not have the illness, which means that Macbeth does not have the
mean streak to strike at his opportunities.

The eighth sentence of the passage Lady
Macbeth states, “What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst
not play falsely, And yet wouldst wrongly win.” The previous sentence shows how
Lady Macbeth believes Macbeth will not cheat to get what he wants, but what he
wants he does not deserve so in order for him to get she believes he must

The next two following sentences Lady
Macbeth goes on to state how she believes her husband is to weak to get what he
wants and he will not make the prophecy come true. Lady Macbeth states,
“Thou’ld’st have, great Glamis, That which cries, “Thus thou must do,” if thou
have it, And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should be
undone.” Lady Macbeth in this sentence is exclaiming how Macbeth will have to do
what he fears which is accomplishing something by cheating, but he wants the
crown that does not belong to him. Also Lady Macbeth is talking about how
Macbeth will never do what he needs to do to get the crown and how she will
need to persuade him.

            The last part of Lady Macbeth’s
soliloquy talks about how she will need to persuade Macbeth in order that he
will receive the crown. The first part of the last sentence says, “Hie thee
hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valor of
my tongue.” The first part of this line is personification by Lady Macbeth
saying she will pour her spirits into the ear of Macbeth. Also it is saying how
she will put her ideas into to him so that he will become the ruler of
Scotland. The next part Lady Macbeth says that she will chastise meaning that
she will rebuke what he is thinking of doing. Also she talks about how she will
chastise him with the valor of her tongue meaning that she is being brave by telling
him what she believes he will have to do to gain the crown. Then Lady Macbeth
goes on to say the following, “All that impedes thee from the golden round.”
Basically, the previous line is demonstrating how she already knows that
Macbeth is having doubts about seizing the crown and that she must talk him
into what he was prophesied to do.

            Finally, Lady Macbeth concludes with
the statement, “Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crowned
withal.” The final statement by Lady Macbeth shows how she believes that fate
wants him to be the next king. Also by Lady Macbeth saying metaphysical she is
referring to the witches that prophesied that Macbeth would become the next
ruler of Scotland. Overall the soliloquy that she presents demonstrates how she
wants Macbeth to become the next king so badly and that she will try to
persuade her husband to follow through with the prophecy.