Macbeth Packet

What is Forres? the site of Duncan’s palace
What is Inverness? Macbeth’s castle
What is Fife? Macduff’s castle
What is Scone? where Kings of Scotland were crowned
What is Dunsinane? where Macbeth takes up residence late in the play
What is Birnam Wood? near Dunsinane; the heath; the desert; and a cavern
What is in England? The King’s Palace (Edward the Confessor)
* Review of locationsIn a camp near Forres, King Duncan and his sons receive a report from the battlefield. In what part of Scotland is Forres located? In the Highlands
* Review of locationsWhere did the main battle take place? Describe briefly its location. Fife; a peninsula
* Review of locationsThe Norwegians apparently invaded Scotland to help the rebels. Where did they probably land? Firth of Forth
* Review of locationsThe thane of Cawdor turns out to be a traitor. In what part of Scotland was his home (Cawdor) located? In the Highlands
* Review of locationsMacbeth and Banquo arrive at Forres. About how far did they travel from the battlefield? About 75 miles
* Review of locationsSoon Duncan announces he will meet Macbeth at Macbeth’s castle in Inverness. Where in Scotland is Inverness located? The Highlands
* Review of locationsWhere in Scotland is Scone located? In the Midlands
* Review of locationsNear the end of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are in residence at Dunsinane. Where in Scotland is Dunsinane located? In the Midlands
* Review of locationsWhere is Birnam Wood located? In the Midlands
What year did Duncan become King of Scotland and what is interesting about his dynasty? In 1034; founding the first and only dynasty of Scotland
The action in the play, Macbeth, began six years later, in 1040. At that time Duncan was 36 years old, although Shakespeare… depicts him as an old man
In Duncan’s time, Scotland was still the site of… frequent battles as various chieftains fought for power
Describe Feudalism Scotland was a feudal society in 1040 (11 century). This means the thanes (lords) where very powerful, and all other people where ruled by them. The king was not really supreme. The result was that rebellion was common as one thane or another strove to become king.
Describe Clans Clans (tribes) were the key to Scottish life. Loyalty was to one’s clan and clan leader rather than to country and to king.
Describe Blood Feuds A lengthy conflict between families involving a cycle of revengeful killings or injuries. Blood feuds raged, primarily between clans. Lady Macbeth was from a clan that had long been involved in a blood feud with Duncan’s clan.
Describe Hospitality Hospitality was admired, as it was in most ancient and medieval societies. After all, there were few hotels and inns, and travelers depended on strangers for food and shelter. Each host, aware that he might be a traveler the next day or month, provided not only food and shelter, but also protection.
Describe Violence It was a dangerous time to be a king. Seventeen kings ruled Scotland from 844 to 1057. Of these, twelve were assassinated.
Describe Daily Life Life itself was a struggle. Food and water were scarce, especially for the common people. The strength of the Scots was spent in fighting each other and the Vikings.
Describe Vikings The Vikings (from Scandinavia) had ruled sections of Scotland for several centuries, and the invading Norwegians may have been trying to bolster Viking domination.
Describe Freedom Freedom barely existed but it was eagerly sought. The Scots “be light of heart, strong and wild enough… They be cruel upon their enemies, and hate bondage most of anything, and hold it foul sloth if any man dieth in bed, and great worship if he die in the field.”
In what year did King Duncan die? 1040
What custom of 11th-century Scottish society would Macbeth be breaking if he followed through with his plan? Hospitality
Why was it natural for Lady Macbeth to urge her husband to do away with King Duncan? Because of her clan’s BLOOD FUED with Duncan’s clan
How many plays did Shakespeare write? 37 plays
Only one play was set in Scotland. Which one is it? Macbeth
Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest… shortest tragedy
Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, leaving no children. The nearest relative, her heir to the throne, was… James VI, King of Scotland. So James VI of Scotland became James I of England.
Describe James – odd fellow- not very bright- against tobacco- fascinated by witches- James was such a passionate believer in witchcraft that, while he was King of Scotland, he spent much time hunting old women and torturing them until they confessed they were witches- followed the Queen’s (Catholic) monarch
In 1606, James was eagerly anticipating a visit from… his brother-in-law, King Christian of Denmark; James was going to throw celebrations for him
So, Shakespeare wrote Macbeth with the royal celebrations in mind and…. to flatter the new monarch
* Make the connection between James and the play, MacbethJames was from Scotland. The new play would be set in Scotland.
* Make the connection between James and the play, MacbethJames was a descendant of Banquo and indirectly of Duncan. The new play would depict Duncan and Banquo in favorable fashion.
* Make the connection between James and the play, MacbethJames believed in witchcraft. The new play would start with three witches huddled over a cauldron, continue with the witches concocting prophecies for Macbeth, and follow through to the witches conjuring up apparitions (ghostly visions) that foretell the ending of the tale.
* Make the connection between James and the play, MacbethJames believed in ghosts. The new play would have a ghost with gory locks sitting at a table.
* Make the connection between James and the play, MacbethJames was proud of his ancestry. The new play would show Banquo’s heirs-eight of them-a long glorious line. And James, of course, would be the last!
Siward was an English general. His daughter married who? His daughter married Duncan, so Siward was a natural ally of Duncan and his sons.
Duncan has two sons called… Malcolm and Donalbain
Which of Duncan’s son became King after Macbeth’s death. Malcolm. Malcolm became King Malcolm III
Gruoch married? Macbeth
Did Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have children? No
Banquo MAY BE a what? a legendary figure, dreamed up to be the founder of the Stuart line.
Banquo had a… a son named Fleance
The present Queen of Great Britain, Elizabeth II, is a… twelfth-generation descendant of King James I.
* Review of family treeHow many sons did Duncan have? Which was first in line for the throne? two called Malcolm and Donalbaine; Malcolm, who became Malcolm III
* Review of family treeWho was Macbeth’s mother and father? Doada and Sinel
* Review of family treeWho is Fleance? What relationship does he have to James I? The son of Banquo; A distant uncle to James
* Review of family treeOn what basis could Macbeth insist he was a legitimate contender for the crown of Scotland? because his grandfather and grandfather in law, Kenneth II and Kenneth IV, were both kings.
* Review of family treeHow was the English general Siward related to Duncan? English general Siward was Duncan’s father-in-law.
* Review of family treeEarly in the play, Duncan greets Macbeth as “O worthiest cousin!” Is he just being polite, or are the two men really cousins? If they are, how are they? Duncan and Macbeth are truly cousins. Kenneth II had two kids, Malcolm II and Doada. Malcom’s son, Bethoc, had Duncan and Doada had Macbeth.
Shakespeare found both plot and history for his play, Macbeth, in… Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, published in 1577.
Shakespeare used a poetic license. What is that? It is the right to manipulate characters and combine two totally separate stories for poetic purposes.
* Undo the poetic license. What really happened?In the play, Duncan is an old and tired man, while Macbeth is young and forceful. In actuality, in 1040, Duncan was 36 years old and Macbeth was at least a few years older.
* Undo the poetic license. What really happened?In the play, Macbeth murders Duncan while Duncan is asleep. In actuality, Macbeth met Duncan on the battlefield, fought with him, and killed him.
* Undo the poetic license. What really happened?In the play, Lady Macbeth urges her husband to kill the king. In actuality, Lady Macbeth played no part in the king’s death.
* Undo the poetic license. What really happened?In the play, Macbeth rules only for a short time. In actuality, Macbeth ruled for seventeen years and was considered a strong and kindly king.
What did Shakespeare do to create the plot for his play, Macbeth? He took the fact-that Macbeth slayed Duncan-from Holinshed. But this wasn’t strong enough, not sinister enough. So, also in Holinshed’s book, he found another tale: of Donwald who murdered King Duff, and of Donwald’s wife who urged that the deed be done. Shakespeare combined the stories to develop his own plot for his own purposes.
Why did Shakespeare change history so radically (2 reasons)? 1. To write a play that would please and flatter James I. James must have been delighted-first, because the new play proclaimed the sacred nature of a king and the duty to protect him; and second, because the new play built up his ancestors and strengthened his claim to the throne.2. He wanted to write a play that would be a vehicle for one of his own deepest beliefs: that order in the universe is essential, and that human actions, distorted, can distort this order.
In the early 17th century, England was surrounded by enemies. It was vital that there be no civil war, no rebellion, no king-killing to confuse and divide the people. In Macbeth, Shakespeare examines… Shakespeare examines the brutal killing of a king and proves that all of nature is affected by the deed.