Macbeth Context Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Macbeth Context Deck (10):
1

Witches

-King James believed in witches and wrote a book called 'Daemonologie'
-The book was about certain powers that witches had
-This caused many people to believe the same as James

2

Weather Portents

-Some of Shakespeare's audience made predictions about their lives based on the weather
-E.g. thunder meant imminent death and an easterly wind represented evil

3

Equivocation

-Protestantism was the only legal religion in Jacobean and Elizabethan England
-Jesuit priests developed the doctrine of equivocation: they could say one thing but mean another, meaning they could lie even under oath.

4

Gender Roles

-Women were considered subordinate to men during Jacobean and Elizabethan society
-Women took status from men in society, and Lady Macbeth's role as a nobleman's wife was to manage the household and entertain
-It could be said that Shakespeare used Macbeth to subvert the traditional gender roles

5

Warrior Culture

The idea in Scotland that men were seen as tyrants and bloodthirsty

6

Prophecies

People believed in this during Shakespeare's time. This could be because Queen Elizabeth and King James frequently used astrologers to predict their futures

7

The devil's prophecies

Many Christians believed that the devil could use false or misleading prophecies to tempt in evil.

8

Regicide

-The action of killing a king
-Many people thought differently about this after the reformation in the 16th century
-Many assassinations were attempted on monarchs (most famously, the 1605 Gunpowder Plot) because the monarchs decided the country's religion

9

Divine Right of Kings

-Theory established in James' reign
-Justified the king's absolute authority in both political and spiritual matters.

10

Succession

-How one king or queen followed the previous one
-A big political issue during Shakespeare's time. E.g. people were worried on who would succeed Elizabeth because she had no children