How can New Historicism be applied to Macbeth and Hamlet?

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To answer your question, it is important to review what New Historicism is. The New World Encyclopedia defines the concept:

New Historicism is an approach to literary criticism and literary theory based on the premise that a literary work should be considered a product of the time, place, and historical circumstances of its composition rather than as an isolated work of art or text.

In other words, this approach tries to understand a piece of literature based not only by what is within it, but also on the context of the historical time period in which it was written.

With this in mind, New Historicism can be applied to both of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth and Hamlet.

Shakespeare wrote his plays for an Elizabethan/Jacobean audience. This era was known as the English Renaissance, influenced by the Italian Renaissance that began a hundred years prior. After the political upheavals that had dealt such heavy blows to her country prior to her ascension to the throne, Elizabeth I welcomed and...

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