Individual Activities1. Who wrote Macbeth? Write a short biography2. When was the play written? The Elizabethan timesand its historical background3. Write the names of the most important characters. Describe them briefly.4. Analyze these themes appearing in the play: a. The corruption of power; b. blind ambition; c. things are not what they seem; d. superstition and its effects on human behaviour.1. Then you have to choose parts of the play where you can find each theme - name the scene and the act where they appear. Explain why you have chosen it. 2. Search through newspapers and magazines to find examples of people with the same conditions as Macbeth´s.
ACTIVITIES IN GROUP► Team 1 will look for four movies with the sames themes as Macbeth► Team 2 will search through newspapers and magazines to find examples of people with the same conditions as Macbeth´s.
The writer William Shakespeare(April 26, 1564 (baptism) - April 23, 1616) was an English poet and playwright widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language, as well as one of the greatest in Western literature, and the worlds pre-eminent dramatist. He wrote about thirty-eight plays and 154 sonnets, as well as a variety of other poems. Already a popular writer in his own lifetime, Shakespeares reputation became increasingly celebrated after his death and his work adulated by numerous prominent cultural figures through the centuries. In addition, Shakespeares works have been translated into every major living language, and his plays are continually performed all around the world. In addition, many quotations and neologisms from his plays have passed into everyday usage in English and other languages. It is important to outstand the relation with the Globe Theatre , built in 1597 (it was destroyed by fire on 26 July 1611. The theatre was rebuilt by June 1617), but was officially closed by pressure of Puritan opinion in 1642 and demolished in 1644 .
Shakespeare´s major worksA Lovers ComplaintA Midsummer Nights DreamAlls Well that Ends WellAntony and CleopatraAs You Like ItHamletJulius CaesarKing LearKing Richard IIIMacbethMeasure for MeasureMuch Ado About NothingOthelloRomeo and JulietThe Comedy of ErrorsThe Merchant of VeniceThe Merry Wives of WindsorThe Taming of the ShrewThe Two Gentlemen of VeronaThe Winters TaleTitus AndronicusTwelfth Night
Historical BACKGROUND The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I´s reign (1558–1603). Historians often depict it as the golden The Elizabethan age in English history. This "golden age" represented the apogee of the English Renaissance and saw the flowering of poetry, music and literature. The era is most famous for theatre, as William Shakesperare and many others composed plays that broke free of Englands past style of theatre. It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad, while back at home, the Protestant Reformation became more acceptable to the people, most certainly after the Spanish Armada was repulsed. It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland. The Elizabethan Age is viewed so highly because of the periods before and after. It was a brief period of largely internal peace between the English Reformation and the battles between Protestants and Catholics and the battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the seventeenth century. The Protestant/Catholic divide was settled, for a time, by the Elizaaaaaabethan Religious Settlement, and parliament was not yet strong enough to challenge royal absolutism. England was also well-off compared to the other nations of Europe. The Italian Renaissance had come to an end under the weight of foreign domination of the peninsula. France was embroiled in its own religious battles that would only be settled in 1598 with theEdict of Nantes. In part because of this, but also because the English had been expelled from their last outposts on the continent, the centuries long conflict between France and England was largely suspended for most of Elizabeths reign. The one great rival was Spain, with which England clashed both in Europe and the Americas in skirmishes that exploded Spanish Armada in 1588 was famously defeated, but the tide of war turned against England with an unsuccessful expedition to Portugal and the Azores, the Drake-Norris Expedition of 1589. Thereafter Spain provided some support for Irish Catholics in a debilitating rebellion against English rule, and Spanish naval and land forces inflicted a series of reversals against English offensives. This drained both the English Exchequer and economy that had been so carefully restored under Elizabeths prudent guidance. English commercial and territorial expansion would be limited until the signing of the Treaty of London the year following Elizabeths death. England during this period had a centralised, well-organised, and effective government, largely a result of the reforms of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Economically, the country began to benefit greatly from the new era of trans-Atlantic trade.
The Spanish and English Sovereigns The Queen Elizabeth The King Phillip II I (1558-1603) (1527-1598)
Characters The Witches: The witches are the instigators of the play because their prophecies prompt Macbeth to action. They are three sisters who trick Macbeth into believing that he is invincible, which leads to his downfall. Macbeth: Macbeth is a general of Duncans army before he gets greedy and wants the crown for himself. He murders the king and Banquo, the other general, as well as having Macduffs entire family killed, all so that he can protect the crown. Despite his ruthlessness to keep his position, he is plagued by guilt for his crimes and as a result sees ghosts of his victims. Macbeth is killed by Macduff in battle. Duncan: Duncan is the king of Scotland who is betrayed in the beginning of the play by the Thane of Cawdor. Duncan gives the traitors title to Macbeth and foreshadows the generals betrayal. Macbeth murders Duncan and frames Duncans guards for the murder. Malcolm: Malcolm is Duncans oldest son and heir to the Scottish throne. When his father is murdered, Malcolm and his brother flee Macbeths castle. Malcolm goes to England to seek English help to regain the throne that is rightfully his. In the end, he is pronounced king, and order is restored. Banquo: Banquo is a general of Duncans army, and the witches prophesy that his descendants will rule Scotland after Macbeth is king. This prophecy makes Banquo an enemy to Macbeth, so Macbeth has Banquo murdered. Banquos ghost haunts Macbeth at a banquet, and this vision makes the Scottish lords suspicious of their new king. Lady Macbeth: Lady Macbeth is Macbeths wife. She insists that he murder Duncan and take the throne for himself. She is the driving force behind Macbeths plays for power, but in the end she drives herself mad because of her guilt over the murders. She kills herself. Macduff: Macduff is a Scottish noble who suspects that Macbeth has murdered Duncan from the very beginning. When Macduff goes to England to support Malcolm, Macbeth has Macduffs entire family killed at their home. Macduff is the man who finally kills Macbeth in battle.