Facts About Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Here are some Macbeth facts.

  • Macbeth is one of the most well-known of William Shakespeare‘s plays. It is also one of his shortest and darkest plays.
  • It was written in about 1606.

  • It is about a brave Scottish general who learns from three witches that he will become King of Scotland. He murders several times to achieve his goal, feeling guilty at the same time.
  • The play was performed at London’s Globe Theatre in 1606. Richard Burbage, a well-known popular actor of the day was probably the first person to play Macbeth on stage.
  • Women were not allowed to act then, and all female parts were played by men. One story says that Shakespeare took the part of Lady Macbeth at the last minute when the main actor was ill.
  • The earliest film version of Macbeth was a black and white silent film made in 1908. Since then there have been over a dozen film and television productions of the play.
  • Orson Welles’ 1948 film, Macbeth, is perhaps the most famous big screen version. It was filmed in just 23 days and used sets and scenery left over from western films.
  • There have been many books and comics featuring Macbeth since the play was written. One comic even describes how Superman actually wrote the play, instead of Shakespeare!
  • The play is sometimes called The Scottish King or The Scottish Play.
  • There really was an 11th century King of Scotland named Macbeth, and several other characters are based on real people.
  • The plot of Macbeth is similar to that of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. There are also similarities with events in Scottish history.
  • Macbeth contains many jokes, and references about the King at the time, James I. He was fascinated by witches, which may have been why Shakespeare included the three witch characters.

William Shakespeare: Facts and Interesting Information About The Great Elizabethan Playwright

William Shakespeare is probably the most famous writer in history. Shakespeare’s plays are read and performed all over the world, even though he wrote them during the time of the Tudors and the reign of James I.

Here are some of the key facts about William Shakespeare.

  • William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1564. It is thought that he was born on or quite close to 23rd April.

  • His father, John, was a glovemaker and he was an important and well-respected resident of Stratford, and his mother came from a wealthy farming family.
  • William probably went to the local grammar school at the age of about 7.
  • When William Shakespeare was about 13, his father experienced some money problems and got into debt. It is thought that William left school at this point in order to help his father run the family business and generate more income.
  • Very little is known about William Shakespeare until his marriage in 1582. Shakespeare wasn’t famous at this point, so he is not mentioned in any written sources from the Tudor period.
  • In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. She was the daughter of a local farmer and was eight years older than Shakespeare.
  • Anne and William had a child, called Susanna, in 1583. In 1585 they had twins, Hamnet and Judith.
  • William and Anne and their three children lived with Shakespeare’s parents in Stratford. In about 1587 Shakespeare moved to London. It is not known exactly when Shakespeare got a taste for acting, but many think he might have got to know some of the individuals involved in the scene when the Queen’s Men acting group performed in Stratford in 1586.
  • It is not known for cetain exactly when Shakespeare began writing plays, but it is thought that some his work was being performed on stage in 1591 or 1592.
  • From 1594, Shakespeare’s plays were only performed by Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later to become the King’s Men during the reign of James I), an acting company part owned by Shakespeare.
  • In 1599, members of Shakespeare’s company built the Globe Theatre, and this made William Shakespeare a very wealthy man.
  • Shakespeare bought in New Street in Stratford, the second largest house in the town.
  • William spent time in both London and the family home in Stratford.
  • The last plays written by Shakespeare were completed in 1613, in collaboration with John Fletcher, the playwright who would become the writer for the King’s Men after Shakespeare.
  • Some his best known works include: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and the Tempest.
  • William Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616, aged 52.. He was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon. There is a monument to Shakespeare in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Follow the links to find out more about the theatre in Elizabethan times and another Tudor playwright called Christopher Marlowe.

Click here to learn more about the Tudors.