G. Holmes Braddock / Sosa Major Works Review Sheet Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Title of Work: Macbeth Author: William Shakespeare Date of Publication: First Folio edition, 1623 Genre: Tragic Drama Characteristics of the genre: The tragedy is a popular type of drama. Tragedies have protagonists that are powerful and influential with happy and fulfilling lives, where the protagonists' lives are turned upside down and they suffer agony. The fall from a high social status to a low one is essential to the tragedy, since it makes the suffering way more painful Historical Information about the period of publication: - Macbeth was written around 1606 - This was under the reign of James I, who before was known as James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the throne in 1603. - Macbeth portrays the author's close relationship with the supreme. - In a way, the theme of bad versus good power, symbolized though Macbeth and Duncan, would have been present in the royal court, where James was busy developing his English version of the theory of divine right. - James almost immediately gave his patronage to Shakespeare’s company, making them the King’s Men. - King James actually traced his ancestry back to the real-life Banquo. Biographical information about the author Shakespeare’s father was a glove-maker, and Shakespeare received no more than a grammar school education. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582, but left his family behind around 1590 and moved to London, where he became an actor and playwright. He was an immediate success: Shakespeare soon became the most popular playwright of the day as well as a part owner of the Globe Theater. His theater troupe was adopted by King James as the King’s Men in 1603. Shakespeare retired as a rich and prominent man to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1613, and died three years later.
G. Holmes Braddock / Sosa Major Works Review Sheet Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Plot summary: The play begins with the appearance of the three witches upon a heath and then it moves to the scene of a military camp, where King Duncan learns that Macbeth and Banquo have defeated two armies. One army is from Ireland and led by Macdonwald, and the other from Norway. Macbeth and Banquo then encounter the three witches as the crossed the heath. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and he will eventually become King od Scotland. The witches also prophesy that Banquo will produce a line of Scottish kings even though he won’t become king himself. The witches disappear and Macbeth and Banquo are left being skeptical of the witches. Then some of Duncan’s men come and tell them the battles have been won and Macbeth has been named the Thane of Cawdor. The previous than betrayed the throne by fighting for the Norwegians and Duncan sentenced him to death. Macbeth is interested in the fact that he has a possibility of becoming king but he is uncertain of what to expect. He meets with Duncan and they plan to have dinner at Inverness. Macbeth then writes to his wife and informs her of all that happens. Lady Macbeth doesn’t suffer from her
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