Macbeth is a play for all time
Shakespeare's Macbeth, written in the Elizabethan period, is still immensely popular and is performed by theatres all over the world today. It has been adopted by many cultures and still has the ability to engage the audience's attention and entertain us. The characters, settings, plot, themes, language and context have appealed to its audience throughout time. Macbeth will always have the ability to connect with people and reflect human traits and development, through its historical context and themes of ambition, appearance vs. reality, the supernatural and masculinity. Macbeth has a contemporary significance; it shows the perplexity of life and the problems with humanity.
Shakespeare had many sources and much of his work was based on historical fact. Holinshed chronicles in the sixteenth century, the histories of England, Scotland and Ireland, and it is from the "Historie of Scotland" that Shakespeare built significant parts of this drama.
For example, the murder of King Duff and the insomnia born of guilt over the murder of a nephew suffered by King Kenneth are a matter of historical record. Each is clearly incorporated into the drama and so is the way in which King Kenneth was influenced by his wife to sponsor the murder. The historical record contains the belief of Macbeth in the prophecies of three wild women soothsayers who reinforced his ambitions for the throne; records Banquo's role, the subsequent murder of King Duncan and Macbeth's paranoia concerning MacDuff. Humans do not learn from the past, as it is so easy for us all to commit evil deeds. The themes presented in the play are relevant to any context that involves humans. The play Macbeth, first published in 1623, wove the separate histories into a coherent whole. No doubt Shakespeare pleaded poetic license. The result...