Religion In Macbeth

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Shakespeare’s Macbeth contrasts good and evil in an effort to show who has the divine right to be king; however, Welles’ addition of the holy man character along with the religious scenes creates a strong contrast between Christianity and the Pagan rituals of the witches in his film adaptation. Religious scenes and imagery help identify which characters are on what side, and the conflict between the religions affects these characters in different ways. The control of the witches and their voodoo doll of Macbeth appear in the form of light and shadows throughout the film. However, it is not just the witches who manipulate characters. The holy man has control over the Christians just as much as the witches do over Macbeth. Orson Welles’ film…show more content…
During the time of his reign, there were many witch trials in which people were accused of plotting against the king. James I believed himself to have the divine right to rule, but “sorcerers, witches and traitors (directly influenced by Satan) were in league to destroy him and his heirs” (Winstanley 45). James I believed the forces of good and evil were battling for possession of the throne. His “victory and the victory of his line...had been prophesized for centuries before his birth and divine powers were pledged to ensure it” (Winstanley 45). The play was written specifically for King James I, so naturally Shakespeare included not only supernatural for interest, but also a plot describing the evil that sought to dethrone the rightful king. Shakespeare portrayed a struggle between good and evil that resembles James’ struggle for and right to the…show more content…
Shakespeare incorporates King James I’s beliefs into the play not only to entertain and appease him, but also to show his divine right to rule England. In the play, the forces of evil manipulate Macbeth into trying to destroy Banquo and his line, of which James I is a part. The witches prophesizes that Banquo would “get kings, though thou be none” (1.3.65). Macbeth hires murders to take care of the threat from Banquo’s line, but Fleance, Banquo’s son escapes. When Macbeth is defeated, the crown goes back to those who have the divine right to rule. Malcolm is king at the end of the play, but eventually, Banquo’s heirs are meant to inherited the throne, as prophesized. As one of Banquo’s heirs, King James I has claims to the divine right to

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