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p. 667. Macbethlocked

  • Stanley Wells

Abstract

When Macbeth was first seen, around 1606, its subject matter was highly topical. King James I was on the throne. The use of the supernatural, and of conventions associated with the contemporary theatre such as people speaking in verse, soliloquies, asides, witches, ghosts, a dumb show, and a severed head was very much of its time. ‘Macbeth’ explains that the text of the play known today, the shortest of Shakespeare’s tragedies, is believed to be an adaptation by Thomas Middleton. Although Macbeth is a historical tragedy, it is also a kind of parable that can easily be related to very different areas of human life.

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