Macbeth: Historical Context and Shakespeare Biography

What did Raphael Holinshed write, and when? “Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland” in 1587
What was Shakespeare’s primary historical source used for “Macbeth”? “Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland” by Raphael Holinshed
What are 3 main differences between Holinshed’s chronicles and “Macbeth” itself? 1) Banquo helps Macbeth kill Duncan 2) Duncan is a young, ineffectual ruler 3) Macbeth reigns successfully for 17 years
What does King James publish in 1597? “Daemonlogie”, a treatise on the threat of witches to his rule
What were King James’s 2 titles? King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England
Why did King James have it out for witches specifically? He thought they were responsible for an incident in 1590 when he was sailing home from his wedding to Queen Anne and there was a storm
What happened to people accused of witchcraft in Scotland in the 1590s? Forced into confession, burned at the stake, thousands of women (and some men) accused
When did King James unify Scotland and England, and who did he succeed? 1603; Queen Elizabeth
Which character in “Macbeth” is supposedly an ancestor of King James? Banquo
What was the name of Shakespeare’s theater company, and what did it get changed to? the “Lord Chamberlain’s Men”, and then the “King’s Men”
What happened on November 4th, 1605? Guy Fawkes was caught with barrels of gunpowder underneath the Parliament House
What was Fawke’s motivation for his crime James didn’t like Roman Catholics
Which Jesuit priest was brought to trial in 1605 and why? Father Henry Garnet, because he wrote “A Trestise of Equivocation” which detailed how to be ambiguous under oath
What was the ultimate fate of Garnet and Fawkes? They were beheaded 🙁
When, where, and for whom was “Macbeth” first performed? August 7th, 1606, at Hampton Court for King James
What years did Shakespeare live? 1564-1616
Where was Shakespeare born? Stratford-upon-Avon, a small town near London
Who were Shakespeare’s parents? What did his father do? Mary Arden and John, who was primarily a glovemaker
What was the name of Shakespeare’s son who died at age 11? Who was his wife? Hamnet; Anne Hathaway
What is significant about Shakespeare’s existence from 1586-1592? No record of him from this time has survived
How many plays did Shakespeare write? 37
When did Shakespeare’s theater open and what was it called? 1599; the Globe Theater
What plays did Shakespeare write from 1600-1607? (6) Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus
When specifically were Hamlet and Macbeth written? 1600 and 1605 respectively

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