CONTEXT AND THEMES_RESIZED MICROSITE IMAGE_ MASTHEAD

CONTEXT & THEMES.

Everything you need to know about the context of Macbeth, as well as key themes in the play

Understanding Shakespeare’s life and times, as well as the history of the Globe Theatre, can enhance your exploration of Macbeth. Key themes and topics are also great discussion points for students.

THEMES: TYRANNY & POWER

THEMES: TYRANNY & POWER, AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR, CRESSIDA BROWN

REHEARSAL IMAGE 7_ MACBETH 2020_ PLAYING SHAKESPEARE WITH DUESTCHE BANK_ STANDARD IMAGE Watch video

From Duncan, to Macbeth, to Malcolm – we look at the different kings in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and explore the themes of tyranny and power.

What makes a tyrant? What do kings do with their power? Is the enabling of a tyrant just as bad as being a tyrant yourself?

Read more on context from Cressida Brown, Director

THEME: THE WITCHES, AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR, CRESSIDA BROWN

PRODUCTION PHOTO 15_ MACBETH 2020_ PLAYING SHAKESPEARE WITH DEUTSCHE BANK_ STANDARD IMAGE Watch video

When shall we three meet again?

We take a look at the witches in Macbeth, and how they’ll be portrayed in our Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production this spring.

Take a look at other resources around the witches, their character profile and a blog post.

FACT SHEETS

Find out more about the world that Shakespeare lived in with our fact pages.

VIDEOS

Learn context around costumes, printing the plays and the Globe Theatre itself.

Globe Theatre Tour

Globe Theatre exterior 3 credit Clive Sherlock 2018 standard image Watch video

Elizabethan Costume Dressing

As You Like It production photograph Watch video

Printing the plays

An ink roller running across a template of letters Watch video

THEMES

Use these four topics as a starting point to discuss the main ideas in the play.

Share your insights with others, and see what the actors have to say!

DIRECTOR'S NOTES

The director of this year’s production of Macbeth, Cressida Brown, explains her understanding of context when directing the play.

Audience and the edit 

The only way that I am altering this production for a younger audience is that I am going to strive to make it better. It’s got to be clearer, it’s got to be more exciting, it’s got to be bolder. Adults are good at pretending they like something when they don’t, whereas young people are very honest and will tell you if they don’t like it!  

Globe as a space 

The Globe is an incredible space, and unique in the fact that the actors can see the audience that they are talking to. Shakespeare comes alive in that space and the audience members become cast in the play as particular characters. I hope in a world of online video games and even compared to other theatres where the audience sit in the dark, the young audience will bring their energy to the performance because they are as present as the actors 

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