Why did Shakespeare Write Macbeth?
Macbeth Play by Shakespeare
Many students of literature are put to task by probing into why did Shakespeare write Macbeth as part of an assignment or project during the course of their academic pursuits. Not only is this question popped to students & scholars of literature, but many other avid readers of literature ponder about the same and come forth with their own theories.
As a person starts to wonder about that particular question, there is one common & popular reason for writing Macbeth which you will see smeared across so many different texts & websites that it almost starts to appear like a propaganda; as if someone out there wants you to think just one thing.
Brief Synopsis of Macbeth
What that one thing is will be answered in just a brief moment (not that many of you do not know the answer already or have a very good hunch about it). But before I do that, let me give you a quick insight into the historical background of Macbeth.
The name itself is derived from the name of a popular Scottish monarch who was extremely loved by the ones he ruled over. The story of Macbeth delves into the life of a military General – Macbeth – who is given good news in the form of a prophecy by a trio of witches that he would become a king himself during the course of his life.
Though a very good man at heart & also a very close confidante of the king he served, Macbeth soon finds himself becoming corrupted as a consequence of being impatient & not having to wait to see the day he sits on the throne. Subsequently, the General shares the witches’ prophecy with his wife who finds herself contaminated with the same impatience & greed as her husband.
Together, the couple plots to assassinate the king while he stays at their place and yes, they do carry out the assassination as well. As a result of the king having “passed away” and Macbeth being the closest known confidante of the departed, the throne gets gifted to him right away.
However, knowing that what he had acquired was the fruit of an evil act, the General becomes extremely paranoid & insecure of the nobility that surrounds him and gets anyone showing the slightest signs of abnormal behavior killed. But as the saying “as you sow, so shall you reap” goes, Macbeth’s wife dies mysteriously and his end comes at the hand of an old nemesis he never thought would get to him. Phew, those were some interesting facts about Macbeth and the plot of the tragedy play in a “nutshell”.
Reason for Writing Macbeth
So my friends, coming back to the original thought, let us see why did Shakespeare write Macbeth from a few different angles.
If you had someone who patronized your work and was willing to fund it as well, would you not want to please this particular well-wisher to ensure the continuity of all that support? Yes, not just you, not just I; anyone would feel compelled to behave that way. Well William Shakespeare being a human felt & thought no differently. He knew that King James I of England was a HUGE supporter of his work and also funded his endeavors at various intervals. At the same time, Shakespeare was also familiar with the ancestry of King James I; the monarch was a descendant of an individual called Banquo.
Now not only was Banquo the name of Macbeth’s comrade in the play, but the story of Banquo, as depicted in the play, is very much factual. You would have to read up on the facts about Macbeth to become familiarized with that element of the play.
Anyhow, coming back on track, as I wrote a few lines back, the popular reason for Shakespeare having inked Macbeth was to ensure that King James I would be pleased with and continues his support for Shakespeare’s theatrical pursuits & endeavors.
Also, if you happened to know about the likes and dislikes of this particular supporter of yours, you would aspire to please the person further by doing or talking about the things that he or she likes and approves of. So as history has it, King James I was intrigued and fascinated by witches, magic, warlock and things along those lines.
Therefore, in order to seal the king’s favor towards him, Shakespeare plugged in those elements into Macbeth’s script as is evident right from the beginning when the audience get to hear the discussion taking place between the trio of witches that play a key role through the play. So these first 2 points give a fairly well concept as to why did Shakespeare write Macbeth for King James; duh, to keep him on his side and remain on his good side as well!
Shakespeare’s Genesis with Tragedies
Now, a little more to do with Shakespeare himself and why did Shakespeare write tragedies? Sure we know he was a very gifted writer & thinker which pretty much covers why did Shakespeare write plays, but that part about specifically working on tragedies; that needs a little deeper probe. William Shakespeare, from what we learn through excerpts written about the theatrical genius, was a man greatly taken in by the notions of free will granted to men, and also how fate changes the course of people’s lives.
So fascinated by this ongoing tussle between what man wants and what nature (life) has in store for him otherwise led Shakespeare to draft some of the most fascinating story plots; you really do have to respect and admire his genius for being able to do that consistently in so many different ways. You have Romeo & Juliet that deals with a love struck couple’s tragedy on one hand and then you have a piece of work like Macbeth that deals with the tragedy afflicted through greed & haste.
So now that we have managed to unearth decent bit of both facts & info about Shakespeare and Macbeth in particular, go ahead and do a bit of research of your own. Look into the history of Macbeth, study the facts that surround more of Shakespeare’s plays, articulate your own independent thoughts & opinions, and see if you can finally come up with a retort in the end as to who did Shakespeare inspire. Happy reading!