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What was King James I's relationship with Shakespeare's acting company and its...

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elisem07 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM via web

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What was King James I's relationship with Shakespeare's acting company and its relevance to the play Macbeth?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:34 AM (Answer #1)

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James I was king of Scotland and England.  Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth to please King James I, and made sure he was on the winning side (in the end).  There is some evidence that James himself suggested the play (see third link).

Macbeth was written especially for James I and was performed in 1606. James I was King of Scotland when he came to the English throne; his descendants can be traced back to Banquo.  (enotes, see first link)

King James I was a patron of the arts, as Queen Elizabeth was before him.

James I was also an avid supporter of the theatre. Shakespeare’s company, “Lord Chamberlain’s Men,” came under royal patronage and were subsequently known as “the King’s Men.” (enotes, see first link)

James enjoyed having companies visit him and perform.  Shakespeare might also have visited Scotland when James was king there (see third link).  All in all, James would have been satisfied with the Scottish Play!  It was a great tribute to him as a patron of the arts.

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