Are there historical inaccuracies In "Macbeth"?Hey everyone, so there is this paper I have to write about the historical innacuracies on the "Macbeth." Can anyone help me out or has any...

Are there historical inaccuracies In "Macbeth"?

Hey everyone, so there is this paper I have to write about the historical innacuracies on the "Macbeth." Can anyone help me out or has any good examples? Anything will help!

Asked on by jenn22

3 Answers

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The play is not historically accurate.  It has so many holes in its logic besides.  It is loosely based on history, but only very, very loosely.  The real Macbeth did not see witches, for one thing.  I have a lot of questions about this play.  What's up with Donalbain?  Where are Macbeth's kids?  What really happened to Lady Macbeth?

mrerick's profile pic

mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

For the most part, the entire play is a historical inaccuracy created in order to appease King James VI/I.  In 1527, Hector Boece was instructed to write the history of Scotland by descendants of Malcolm III (the Malcolm of the play).  He chose to turn Macbeth into a monster in order to appease the current crown.  Shakespeare's play was based on that account because King James is a descendant of Malcolm III. 

With that said, Duncan died in battle and nobody was all that sad.  His oldest son, Malcolm, was just an infant so the crown was passed down to Macbeth instead.  Macbeth ruled well for many years and was fairly well liked by the Scottish people.  When he also died in battle, the crown was then passed back to Malcolm.  The characters of Banquo and Fleance are fictional; the long line of kings referred to in the play actually belonged to Duncan/Malcolm's line, extended all the way into the Stuart family to which James belonged. 

Lady Macbeth was a compassionate, caring queen worried about the well being of her husband during his kingship, not the manipulative meanie in the play.

Upon Macbeth's death, he was widely mourned throughout Scotland as he was a very good king.   His death marked the end of the Gaelic kings, as Malcolm's upbringing was much more similar to that of the Anglo-Saxon kings to the south.

jenn22's profile pic

jenn22 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

You have just helped me out temendously! thank you so much!