Macbeth Webquest

Shakespeare Mini-Bio
Place of birth? Stratford-Upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Year of birth? – exact year uncertain- sometime around April 23, 1564
Married to? Anne Hathaway (1585)
In 1603, what did Shakespeare change his company’s name (from The Lord Chamberlain’s Men) to? The King’s Men
Why? King James became its patron
What was Shakespeare’s middle period? 1595 to 1605
When was Macbeth written? during Shakespeare’s middle period
How many sonnets did Shakespeare write? 154
When did Shakespeare die? 1616 (scholars believe on his birthday)
What did the creators of the BBC series “Shakespeare Unlocked” intend to say about Shakespeare’s plays? – all Shakespeare’s plays were all about human emotions- we know this because the words displayed in the images, these words include love, jealousy, pride, sorrow, and joy
Why is it called “the Globe” theater? comes from the expression “everyone in the world is an actor”
Why was theater considered “the nest of the devil”? the church frowned upon the theater
Why was theater something for everyone, not just the wealthy? – cheapest seats could be afforded by everyone (5 pounds)- “groundlings” – cheapest seats- most expensive seats were the ones with the best sound
Why was it a problem if it rained during a play? – umbrellas were not allowed for the “groundlings” / people who were on the floor- audience would participate on this level of theater
What three elements does the stage represent? – top signs (represent zodiac signs and painted blue for Heaven)- stage itself (represents earth)- underneath (there is a trap door to go underneath the stage which represents Hell)
How does the shape of the Globe affect the experience of a play? the roundness of the theater increases the sense of participation during the plays
How does Shakespeare’s sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer Day?” fit his life? – it is seen as a eulogy for his son- he wrote it after his son had died and was buried
Explain the “new boss.” – you’re at work, and your boss leaves. all of a sudden, a new boss comes in. because of this, you have to change how you act, because the new boss has new expectations and rules that you are supposed to follow- this is what inspired Shakespeare to write Macbeth
Who was Shakespeare’s former boss? Elizabeth I
Explain the influence of Puritans on Shakespeare’s plays. – after Queen Elizabeth’s death, the Puritans began to rise in England- one of the things that Puritans strongly believed in was that if you acted in plays, then that was sacrilegious- as a result of this, they were always trying to shut down the theatres
Why do Shakespeare’s plays sound like the King James Bible? – King James translated the Bible and it was the most widely spread and widely used Bible- King James is the translator of English while Shakespeare is English and this makes Shakespeare’s plays sound so much like King James Bible
In what year was Macbeth written? 1606
How did the tone of Shakespeare’s play change when James I became King? – during the reign of Elizabeth, the tone of his writing is joyful, reflecting the joyful, confident, happy, and optimistic environment of the time- during the reign of King James I, the tone of his play becomes darker in order to reflect the insecurities during the time period
In what year was the Gunpowder Plot? 1605
Explain the Chain of Being. – an idea upheld by the religious thinkers of the middle ages- the belief that God had designed an ordered system for both nature and humankind- every creature and person had an allotted space- it was considered an offense to God if anyone tried to alter their place in life- when people died, they would go to Heaven if they respected God’s will
Explain the Divine Right of Kings. – the belief that the power of monarchs was given directly by God – monarchs would only answer to God- opposition to the King was an attack on God Himself- sacrilege – the most heinous of sins- the anointing ceremony at the coronation made the King virtually divine- the Stuart Kings strongly supported this- they claimed Christ-like powers of healing
When did the original, “real,” Macbeth reign? – 1040- Macbeth was a King of the Scots whose rule was marked by efficient government and the promotion of Christianity
How and why did Shakespeare change the role of Banquo in the play from the “historical” Banquo? – the Stuart Kings claimed descent from Banquo, but Banquo is a mythical figure who never really existed – Shakespeare found his version of the story in Macbeth in the “Chronicles of Holinshed,” a historian of his own time- Holinshed also includes a Banquo in his version, but he is also a traitor who assists Macbeth in the murder- as a tribute to the Stuarts, and James in particular, Shakespeare presents Banquo as a wise, noble and regal figure who arouses jealousy in Macbeth as much for his own good qualities as for the promise the witches make to him of founding a dynasty
What did James’ book “Basilikon Doron” say about the theme of kingship? it identifies the ideal King as one who does his duty to God and to his country and who is also a man of spotless personal integrity, as Shakespeare done in Macbeth
What was the Gunpowder Plot? – a plot to get James I off the throne- thought up by a group of angry Catholics- conspirators planning this plot rented a cellar under Westminster Abbey and had brought in 36 barrels of gunpowder – the plan with all that gunpowder was to light the barrels which would destroy the King, Queen, their sons, Westminster Abbey, everyone in the surrounding community, as well as prominent members in the government
What was the result? – the barrels were never lit- an anonymous letter was sent to a key person in the government alerting them about this gunpowder plot- one of the conspirators was caught around midnight with a match in hand waiting to light the barrels- the conspirators were disemboweled and beheaded in front of cheering masses
What pentameter is it written? iambic pentameter
What is an iamb? a combination of a stressed and unstressed syllable
What does 1 iamb equal? a foot
What does pentameter mean? – Shakespeare wrote 5 feet per line- 10 iambs per line
How many lines of poetry does a stanza usually have? 4
What does the rhyme scheme, iambs, and feet help do? – set up the meter for the poem- gives it rhythm
What is the difference between prose and verse in Shakespeare’s plays? – prose is ordinary speech, looks like a normal paragraph (no set rhythm or rhyme)- verse can be rhymed or blank; has a recognizable rhythm, and similar syllables and length
Why/when might characters speak in verse? – the upper class Shakespeare’s plays, because it’s a more refined method of speech- it is used to emphasize romance, rhyming verse is especially romantic- as a lyric to a song- when giving advice to a moral- strong, rhythmic speech will be more sentient and carry more weight than prose would- in prologues, epilogues, choruses, and play-within-plays- Lady Macbeth begins by speaking verse, but as she gets more mad she starts speaking in prose
Whey/when might characters speak in prose? – Shakespeare generally uses prose for the lower class characters- does this in order to distinguish them from the more refined, verse-speaking aristocrats
What are some other uses for prose include? – to make conversations seem more realistic – made characters more relatable to the audience – to create comic effect – lower class characters trying to use formal language but still speaking in prose, often getting it humorously wrong- to cause doubt at the speaker’s sanity
What are 5 things you learned about Shakespeare’s use of figurative language in this source? 1.) opposite words or ideas2.) Macbeth is very soliloquy heavy3.) repetition4.) personification5.) metaphor
Opposite Words or Ideas – highlight conflicts in story such as appearance and reality, choice and fate or good and evil- single words (ex. Heaven, Hell)- antithesis
Macbeth is very soliloquy heavy. – meant to be heard only by the audience- tell us about character’s thoughts and feelings- we can understand exactly what is going through a character’s mind
Repetition – “sleep” is repeated 8 times in 10 lines (on purpose)- Shakespeare wants audience to be aware of what sleep means to his characters- “sleep” – death- by concentrating on the word that is being repeated we can see, for example, how Macbeth wants the reader to comprehend what “sleep” means
Personification – Neptune is ancient God of Sea; hands literally covered in blood, but blood also metaphorically represents guilt- hyperbole- rhetorical question
Metaphor – Macbeth wants to defend his land against others – he uses metaphors from medicine- he wants to find the “disease” in Scotland, to restore “health” and use a “drug” against others- a member of the invading army uses term “medicine” and “purge” to show the fact that it is Malcolm and his supporters who will cure Scotland of its illness