What is the connection between "Macbeth" and the social historical background of the age?
Many people think that Macbeth was written for James I of England, who traced his lineage back to Banquo. It was first performed in 1606, when James had secured the throne after the death of Elizabeth I. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots and had been the Scottish King. When Elizabeth I died, James became king of both Scotland and England. Since Shakespeare knew the importance of having royal support for his work, Banquo is characterized as an especially honorable man who, according to the witches, "will have sons who will be kings." This is a direct reference to James I and shows Shakespeare's political savvy.