Summary and Desricption of Macbeth

Essay by ValveousHigh School, 12th gradeA-, January 2005

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By William Shakespeare


Elizabethan Age.

1. The Author and His Times

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford, England. His father worked selling leather and grains, and was a town official. He was the third child out of eight children. His mother, Mary, came from a family of prosperous farmers and landowners. On November 28, 1582, he married Anne Hathaway. She was the daughter of a farmer near Stratford. He had three children with her, two of them being twins.

In the 1590's, Shakespeare went to London and joined a touring theater company. He worked as a lead actor of this company called "The Lord Chamberlain's Men." By the late 1590's Shakespeare had established himself as a writer. In 1599, he founded the Globe Theater with 6 other associates. The new theater was an open playhouse in London. Shakespeare and the other 6 called themselves "The King's Men" starting 1603 with King James I permission.

Shakespeare was able to establish himself both as a playwright and a poet during this time. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616.

During Shakespeare's time, most people were very superstitious believing in witches, ghosts, and other supernatural beings. This is reflected in much of the literature from that time, and especially in Macbeth.

2. Point of View

Macbeth is written in the third person objective. The characters do not speak directly to the audience but often give soliloquies. Through the dialogues of the characters, Shakespeare's ideas of fate and free will can be seen. Focus generally follows Macbeth and sometimes other characters that affect Macbeth. The witches occasionally enter the play as a means of foreshadow.

3. Form, Structure, and Plot

Macbeth is organized into 5 acts. Each act contains several scenes. The play starts with a prologue scene given...