Intro to Macbeth

who is macbeth? general in the king’s army, valiant fighter, wanted to win the crown
forres site of Duncan’s palace (scotland)
inverness Macbeth’s castle (scotland)
fife Macduff’s castle (scotland)
scone where kings of Scotland were crowned (scotland)
dunsinane where macbeth takes up residence late in the play (scotland)
birnam wood near dunsinane (scotland)
What location in England is used? The King’s Palace (Edward the Confessor)
Timeline 1034: Duncan becomes king and founds first dynasty of Scotland (Scotland took its name 200 yrs earlier)1040: Macbeth is said to begin at this time. Duncan is really only 36 yrs old here, but Shakespeare depicts him as an old man
Feudalism in Scotland lords/ thanes = very powerful and ruled over people. Lords would rebel to become kings
Clans in Scotland (or tribes)- key to Scottish life. Loyalty was to clans rather than to country and king
Blood Feuds in Scotland between clansex: Lady Macbeth’s clan vs Duncan’s
Hospitality in Scotland hosts provided food/ shelter/ protection for strangers in fear that they someday will be a traveler
Violence in Scotland 17 kings ruled Scotland from 844- 1057. 12 were assassinated
daily life in Scotland food and water= scarce. strength was spent in fighting clans and vikings
Vikings in Scotland (from Scandanavia) had ruled parts of Scotland. Invading Norwegians may have tried to bolster viking domination
`Freedom in Scotland barely existed. Honor in dying in battlefield, and hated being captive in another clan
unseamed ripped open
nave navel
chaps cheeks
kerns irish soldiers who fought on foot
gallowglasses irish soldiers who fought on horseback
weird having to do with fate or destiny
posters “swift riders” (horseback, foot, or broomstick)
post messenger/ mail carrier who delivers mail quickly on a fast horse
Hautboys haut= highbois= woodmeans oboe
offices servants’ quarters
grooms servants who sleep @ the foot of king’s bed
posset warm drink of milk and ale, taken before retiring
suborned bribed
invested crowned
insane root henbane/ hemlock; causes madness
sewer server or household official in charge of serving food
husbandry thrift, economy
largesse gift of $$
surfeited overfed
charge person for whom grooms are responsible
parley conference of war
named elected
benison blessing
charnel house building where bones are thrown when a grave was dug up to bury a new corpse
avaunt begone!
cauldron large kettle/ pot
impress to force
coz cousin; sometimes just courtesy title
colors flag carried by soldier
cling wither
sooth truth
oracle person through whom deity speaks or info about future given by oracle
lave to bath
maws bellies/ stomachs
kites birds of prey (hawks)
speculation power of sight
apparition ghostly figure
bodements prophecies
school to teach, discipline
ague fever and chills
forced reinforced
siege military blockade of a town/ fort to force its surrender
minion today: servile dependentpast: darling/ favorite
illness today: sicknesspast: evil nature
weird today: odd, eeriepast: someone who could control fate/ destiny
lavish today: luxuriouspast: overly bold
missives today: letters/ notespast: messengers
security today: safetypast: careless
gout today: disease like arthritispast: large splash or clot
clear today: free of doubt, transparentpast: innocent
battlement castle in Macbeth’s time had this; a low wall of stone built on top of the main wall
wall walk inside the main wall where soldiers could patrol and shoot arrows
golgotha hebrew name for calvary; place outside ancient Jerusalem where christ was crucified
hecate queen of the witches, head of a horse/dog/boar
tarquin last king of Rome who was very cruel. rpaed Lucrece as she slept
Neptune roman god of the sea
Mark Antony roman general more noble than Octavian Caeser; warm and human
Bellona Roman goddess of war; attended by Blood, Fire, Famine
Beelzebub prince of devils, second only to Satan
Gorgon aka Medusa
Acheron one of the 5 rivers of hell
Octavian Caeser (Augustus), Roman emperor known for strength and being mean
cats governing spirits of witches; ‘graymalkin’ = popular name for gray cat
ravens croaking associated w/ disaster and gloom
owl bird of ill- omen and future disaster
falcon fierce; eyes originally sewn shut to make it easier to handle. Later released for hunting
toads governing spirits of witches; ‘paddock’
martlet name for house martin/ swallow. builds mud nest under eaves of a ‘happy house’
snake sneakiness, treachery. death
bear bearbaiting= popular entertainment. attacked by dogs on a stake
other animals from macbeth scorpions, chickens, tiger, rhino, bear, wren fighting an owl, vulture, insects
Blood Feuds in Scotland

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