English literature homework
Task: What message would the play Macbeth give to the society at the time of James I reign?
From what I am able to gather through my research of James I, he visited the country of ‘Denmark’ which is a country very familiar to witch-hunts. This may have encouraged an interest in his study of witchcraft. He considered this as a branch of theology. After his return to Scotland, he attended the ‘North Berwick witch trials’ which was the first major persecution of witches in Scotland under the witchcraft act 1563. Several people who were trialled for the accused witchcraft were convicted for casting a spell onto James’s ship which was to send storms upon it. James became obsessed with the threat posed by witches therefore he became inspired by his personal involvement, in 1597 he wrote the Daemonologie (Demonology), a tract which opposed the practice of witchcraft and which provided background material for Shakespeare's Tragedy of ‘Macbeth’. James personally supervised the torture of women accused of being witches. After the year 1599, his views became more sceptical to society. Shakespeare was writing for the theatre during the reigns of two monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. The plays he wrote during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, are often seen to embody the generally happy, confident and optimistic mood of the Elizabethans. However, those he wrote during James's reign, such as Macbeth and Hamlet, are darker and more cynical, reflecting the insecurities of the Jacobean period. Macbeth was written the year after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
During the reign of James I, James feared that discontented factions might gather around him. At first the Catholics had hoped James might support them, since his mother had been such a staunch Catholic, but when they realised this would not happen conspiracies developed, one of which was the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes and his men tried to blow up James...