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Macbeth - Presentation of Characters Macbeth a play by William Shakespeare written sometime between 1603-1606 is a tragic story of death and deceit amongst the noblemen of Scotland The two main characters are Macbeth Thane of Glamis and his wife Lady Macbeth The play is based around the conflict in Scotland at the time between the King and rebellious Scotsmen who were overcome single-handedly by Macbeth on the side of the King Duncan Macbeth and his fellow kinsman Banquo were met on a heath by three witches who prophesised Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor and later King of Scotland When he later learned he had been made Thane of Cawdor for his service to the crown he believed that it was the work of the witches However rather than leaving it to the witches Macbeth decided he would have to kill the king himself if he wanted the crown fulfilling his ambition Therefore with the influence and assistance of his wife he eventually murdered King Duncan with himself then becoming king He is r esultantly guilt ridden but his wife is very calm and accepts no responsibility for Duncans death The tables turn later on in the play though with Macbeth continuing his killing to gain more power and becoming more independent from his wife eventually leading to her going mad and committing suicide This play and the topics explored within it were very relevant to the time in which it was written Practising witchcraft became an executable offence in 1604 so the witches in the play would have caused quite some controversy Regicide the murder of a king or queen was also an extremely serious crime as the king was believed to have been chosen by God so to kill the king was to act against God and also nature Today it is still the only executable offence in the United Kingdom The King of England when the play was written James I
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