background research on macbeth

what are/were the Fates? Fates were three women from mythology that were thought to influence a man’s destiny
what are/were the Norns? the Norns were Fates in Norse Mythology
who was/is Hecate? Hecate was the goddess of the supernatural
what was the prevailing attitude toward witchcraaft in England during Shakespeare’s time? witches were reviled and feared across the continent. witch hunts were common during the 15th and 16th century.
what superstitions/beliefs about witchcraft existed? they believed that witches could curse a person, fly, create spells that would bewitch someone and influence the supernatural.
what was/is a witch’s “familiar”? a witch’s “familiar” is an animal that does the witch’s bidding.
what is Scotland’s connection to witches during this time frame? king James believed that he was an “expert” in witches and their history. king James was king of Scotland
what was Shakespeare’s primary historical source for Macbeth? historical source from Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles. however, Shakespeare changed the story so that Banquo, King James’ legendary ancestor, was not a part of the murder conspiracy toward King Duncan
to what extent is Macbeth a “history play”? historical places and concepts, but not history in the correct sense
why is it more often included as a tragedy? considered a tragedy because it includes a tragic hero
for whom was the play Macbeth first perfromed? King James of Scotland and England
What influence(s) might that have had on the play’s production? Shakespear took great pains to increase the connection of Banquo to King James, even indication that Fleance, Banquos’s on is a relative of King James. there are certain parts ot the play where the actors are asked to provide a mirror or other prop to the king.
how was King James connected to witchcraft? King James wrote a book on witchcraft called Demonolgy. he may have really believed that there was a secretive sect devoted to malicious evil, or he may jave been just another cynical trying to unit people agaisnt a comon imaging enenmy with different cultural practicies.
what was a “thane”? a thane was a Scottish noblemen who were close to the king and held land and power

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