Term 2
The Flawed Hero

All great (and even not so great) works of fiction have flawed characters.
It is especially important that the narrative's protagonist be flawed.
Without a character flaw, there is nothing for a character to overcome.
As humans, we are all flawed creatures.
Consequently, it is nearly impossible to identify with a character that is flawless.

Simba from the Lion King as flawed hero?


a man in turmoil Shakespeare's commentary on power, corruption, and blind ambition is still relevant to our own politics today!
* Fate? Destiny? Or one man's obsession with power? Macbeth is probably the most dramatic of Shakespeare's tragedies. Set in 11th century Scotland, with all the drama you'd expect from this gruesome play.
Literature is a comment on the human condition!
click for more info about the Graphic Novel
more about the Graphic Novel version of Macbeth and the No Fear Shakespeare version.
Macbeth is the story of a man whose ambition runs wild.

After hearing predictions from some 'witches' in a wood Macbeth decides that to become king he must kill the current king, Duncan. He does this with the aid and encouragement of his wife Lady Macbeth.
Then he kills the king's guards in an attempt to pin the murder on them.

Then Macbeth plots to murder his friend - Banquo, and Banquo's son, Fleance - because the three 'witches' have predicted that Banquo's off-spring will become king.

After Banquo is slain, Macbeth thinks he sees Banquo's ghost at a banquet.
His head is starting to unravel.

Later he has the wife and children of a general, Macduff, slain after the three 'witches' warn him to beware of Macduff.

Finally, in the last act, Macbeth battles Macduff who slays him and displays Macbeth's "cursed head" for all to see.
This is the story of how one murder begets another and how one man's ambition plagues a nation.
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BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales - Macbeth
See the animated version in under 25 minutes!

or Cliff Notes in 7 minutes 38 seconds


other YouTube Macbeth stuff.....

- 3 VERY different movie versions of Macbeth's opening scene! -
- and the Macbeth rap -
- and here is Macbeth Jeremy Freeston's 1997 movie - in modern scottish language! -
- and the WORST Macbeth movie ever (a 7 minute version) by students from a Canadian(?)HS. - Actually I quite liked it! -
- and this is just great!! -
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Shakespeare - the man  

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. He died on April 23, 1616.

In November 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. When they married, he was eighteen and she was 26. They had three children.

The portrait believed to look most like Shakespeare is on the title page of the First Folio (seen below).
The picture above has recently surfaced and is believed to be Shakespeare but is unproven. [click on it to have a closer look.....looks like a more creative version of the guy below!]

The First Folio, a collection of most of his plays, was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death.

Shakespeare not only wrote plays; he also performed on stage as a professional actor in London.

 how can I get Yr 10 interested in this?
England in the 1600s
Learn more aboutShakespeare's world
at the Folger Shakespear Library

For example HEALTH

Elizabethans did not understand germs;
they thought sickness was spread by bad smells (miasma) or because someone had too much or too little of one of the humors.
Doctors thought that there were four humors, or fluids, that had to be kept in balance in order for a person to stay healthy.
People tried to prevent disease by keeping bad smells away.
Women would carry small bouquets of herbs and flowers or use a pomander, a small container of potpourri or perfume, to create a nice smell around them.
When deadly plagues struck England in the seventeenth century, doctors wore masks filled with herbs and chemicals because they believed that the scent could protect them from the plague.
The Facts
Macbeth is believed to have been written in 1606. The earliest account of a performance is April 1611, when Simon Forman recorded seeing such a play at the Globe Theatre. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare’s acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote during James’s reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright’s relationship with the sovereign.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Act 4, scene 1, lines 10–11

Out, damned spot, out, I say!
Act 5, scene 1, line 37

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time
Act 5, scene 5, lines 22–24


In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England.
London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.
In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife's ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes?
Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth’s evil and this opponents' good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.
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witches / superstition / fate
One of the ways people in the Elizabethan times accounted for unusual or unfortunate occurances was by blaming witches.
For thousands of years belief in witches and their magical powers was rooted in the minds of all Europeans and even though Christianity was strongly established in England the power of witches would have been very widely believed by Shakespeare's audience.
In fact Christianity encouraged a superstition that witches carried out the works of the Devil.


Macbeth witches poster
WITCHES
People believed:
they could predict the future
they could vanish into thin air
they were capable of bringing disease to people
they could control the weather
they could cast spells
they could cause things to catch fire
they were the enemies of mankind
they used animals like cats and toads to carry out tasks

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