Class Task – 11En3 – Macbeth Context

Starter: Using your iPads, give me three facts about William Shakespeare.

Extension: When was Macbeth written? Who was the monarch – King/Queen at the time?

Learning Focus: I will research the context of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

  • I MUST be able to explain the context (background) of Macbeth.
  • I SHOULD be able to give a detailed account about the attitude toward witches at the time.
  • I COULD refer to specific historical events that might have meant the play had a more powerful effect on audiences at the time.

Main Activity:

1) Find a picture of King James 1.  2) What was the attitude towards witches at the time Shakespeare was writing?   3) How did King James 1 feel about witches?  Give one interesting fact about King James and witches.   4) Where is Macbeth set?   5) Why do you think Macbeth would have written this play?

Extension: a) What is the ‘divine right of Kings’?    b) What is a ‘Shakespearean Tragedy’?

Key Words:  Shakespeare; witches (not ‘whiches’ or ‘wichs’); superstition.

Reflection: Describe the background during which Macbeth was written.


5 thoughts on “Class Task – 11En3 – Macbeth Context

  1. oisin sass

    2-There was a strong belief in wich craft and supernatural beings, they were considered sub humans and servants of the devil.
    3- Scotland
    5- To give a good example of what life was like when your battling to be a king and have to murder you way to the top.
    (Simons doing number 4 and number one will not pate on the comments)

  2. Simon Lagdon

    James 1 considered himself to be an intellect. In particular James saw himself as an expert on witchcraft, which was still an issue in Stuart England in so far as many did not share the same views as James.

    There are no accurate figures for the arrest and punishment of witches in the early seventeenth century – which could indicate poor record keeping or simply that so many were arrested that records were never updated.

  3. Jordan Leach-Collins

    Although written in 1606, this play takes place in the Scotland of medieval times, question 4

  4. max

    Extension: a) What is the ‘divine right of Kings’?

    I DON’T KNOW 🙂

    When was Macbeth written? 1606
    Who was the monarch at the time? James VI and I
    Who was the king/queen at the time? Elizabeth I and King James I
    Queen Elizabeth I had no children or even nieces or nephews so the throne was offered to James Stuart (James VI of Scotland) who became James 1 of England (James was a distant cousin of Elizabeth). King James thought he was chosen by god. In Macbeth shake spear flattered King James in many ways.
    A set of beliefs held and taught by a Church that kings derive their authority from God not their subjects, from which it follows that rebellion is the worst of political crimes. It was express in clear or definite terms in Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Stuarts and is also associated with the Absolute monarchy of Louis XIV of France.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s