Historical Changes In Macbeth

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Macbeth, a tragedy written by Shakespeare around 1606, dramatises the consequences that unchecked political ambition can yield. To truly understand Macbeth, however, it is important to know the time period and political context in which it was written. The main theme, excessive ambition leads to great consequences, is interestingly relevant considering how, why, and when Shakespeare wrote the play. Shakespeare drastically altered certain historical events in his writing. Shakespeare likely made these alterations for a few reasons; to increase the excitement by adding drama, to create a more complex characterization of Macbeth to contribute heavily to the theme of the play, and politically to cater to the ruler, King James the First. One of…show more content…
Shakespeare had his own many reasons for doing this. Shakespeare knew that adding drama to the play would increase excitement. Macbeth is first introduced into the play as a well liked hero that King Duncan had sent to crush a rebellion. Macbeth seems to be a valiant and noble man. There is an example that involves this. In actual history Macbeth just stumbled upon the rebel leader. Shakespeare paints a different picture, however, as seen almost immediately in the play when the bloody captain hobbles up to King Duncan. Shakespeare made sure that Macbeth would be seen as a hero and a great man. The resulting passage is…show more content…
Macbeth in the play is a complex character and this is aided by many alterations performed by Shakespeare against the true history. In actuality Macbeth was a cruel man, who punished crimes to the extreme. But Shakespeare’s Macbeth was a man who Shakespeare presents as gentle, and a thoughtful man who can love wholeheartedly, as we see in his interactions with his wife. His wife had to convince him to murder the king and Lady Macbeth even says, basically, that Macbeth is too nice specifically saying about Macbeth: "... too full o' th' milk of human kindness/To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,/Art not without ambition, but without/The illness should attend it."

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