How Did The Gunpowder Plot Influence Macbeth

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Shakespeare wrote plays designed to entertain and please the king, therefore had to be careful about the content of the play. Historical events as significant as the Gunpowder plot and as insignificant as a ship going missing for eighty one weeks during that time “ Weary sev’nnights nine times nine Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine” (1.3.21-22) did play a role of influencing the play, how it was designed and performed. Macbeth was first performed around 1606, a year after the Gunpowder Plot shook the nation of England. The Gunpowder Plot was a huge conspiracy plotted against King James I, his family, and basically all leaders of the realm. Guy Fawkes and a small group of conspirators were upset about James’ unwillingness to increase the toleration to Roman Catholics, so they planted barrels of gunpowder under the Parliament house the night before King James would appear to open a new session of parliament.…show more content…
He gave the names of the people involved, and amongst the list was a man named Father Henry Garnet, head of the secretive Jesuit mission in England. He was executed and his severed head was displayed with others on the London bridge. His execution is subtly planted into Macbeth: A porter is awakened by the noise caused knockings at the gate, and while half drunk, reluctantly opens the gate and believes that he is the gatekeeper to hell “Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake. yet could not equivocate to heaven” (2.3.8-11). This treasonous equivocator is most likely an allusion to the just executed Henry

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