The Similarities Between Macbeth And King James

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In Macbeth’s story, there are many different and diverse forces which drive the drama in the play. However, I will be focusing on the two main factors that contribute to this drama - political drama and psychological thriller. Political drama is shown as there are definite similarities between Macbeth and King James the first.

A psychological thriller is portrayed through hallucinations and the ongoing fight that Macbeth experiences between himself and his self-conscience.

Whilst both factors play critical roles in the drama throughout the play, which will be discussed, as a historian, I have an obvious bias towards the political side of the play.

Throughout Macbeth there are many themes in the play, which refers back to King James’s
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This is Macbeth hallucinating, but is a clear premonition of what is to come and this is displayed yet again through Lady Macbeth’s cry “Come, you spirit that tend on my mortal thoughts”. Here, Lady Macbeth is talking to evil spirits that she believes are inside her head. This relates to King James the First as it is well documented he had an interest in witchcraft. He once attended a witchcraft trial and in 1597 King James published a book on witchcraft. This proves that the political context of King James the First plays a huge role in the drama of the play

In Macbeth, there are many supernatural elements that all contribute to a psychological thriller. This is explored largely through the way in which Shakespeare reverses gender roles, when Lady Macbeth’s obsession with masculinity leads her into crying out to become a man.

This is then proven through sexual imagery “Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full direst cruelty” This quote is full of horrific intent as Lady Macbeth calls upon evil spirit’s to take away her femininity so that she will be able to become more cruel and violent and not have to seek
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On a political scale, during the year of 1605, the Romans planted gunpowder underneath Parliament in a plot to assassinate King James. Although this plot failed and King James lived, the Romans were content with their plan as it put the English in a state of paranoia and fearfulness.

three years later, Shakespeare wrote Macbeth and there is clear evidence to suggest that Shakespeare’s inspiration to write this book was based on this plot now known as the ‘Gunpowder plot’.

Shakespeare wrote this play to explore what might have happened if a King I.e. King Duncan, were to have been murdered, and his play portrays the same fears and anxieties as the English experienced after the gunpowder plot.

In Conclusion, although both psychological thriller and political context clearly emphasize drama throughout the play, I believe that Shakespeare’s main form of creating drama comes through political drama in Macbeth through political allegory about regicide and its apocalyptic implications for a society as a whole. Political drama is essential as without it I would not be standing in front of you lecturing you the story of Macbeth, as there would be no story to

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