At the beginning of Shakespeare’s Macbeth play, Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis.
|Glamis Castle, rumoured to be haunted|
But the real historical Macbeth was NOT the Thane of Glamis.
|Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis|
|King James V of Scotland, ca. 1536|
She was charged with poisoning her husband. The murder charge was dropped and she was free to marry her second husband.
It would seem that the charges of witchcraft were entirely false and fabricated.
She is believed to be one of many ghosts that haunts Glamis Castle.
|King James I of England and VI of Scotland|
around the time Macbeth was written in 1606
King James was fascinated by witchcraft, and it would seem that Shakespeare was trying entertain his new monarch with a subject he had an interest in.
Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in the nightmarish period after the Gunpowder Plot, when Catholic conspirators tried to kill the king and blow up Parliament. There were many trials, and many people were executed, including priests.
Is Shakespeare making a comment that the blood that was on King James V's hands was like the blood on Macbeth's hands, and perhaps that King James VI had the blood of the Gunpowder plotters on his hands as well?
|Alan Cumming in the recent Macbeth on Broadway|
Did Shakespeare think that the souls of the executed would haunt
Whitehall Palace in London in the same way that Lady Glamis haunted her castle in Scotland?
It has often been written that Shakespeare made a connection between King James VI and the good character Banquo, from whom it is believed that James was descended, in order to flatter this new king.
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