Sources for MacBeth | Breaking Bard Episode 10


“But screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail” – Lady MacBeth Act I, Scene 7 of the Scottish Play

Many have heard of MacBeth, the tyrannical title character of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Many more are unaware that MacBeth was a real Scottish King. Shakespeare however was completely aware because he relied heavily of Raphael Holinshed’s history of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Now, whether Holinshed was accurate to history is a whole different story, but Shakespeare borrowed heavily from the works of Holinshed while writing the Scottish Play.

But, just how much did Shakespeare borrow from Holinshed? Was he quote unquote true to the history of MacBeth, or did he pull from a few other places? That is what we will be discussing today and by the end of it, hopefully we will have answered these questions and much, much more. So, don your favorite kilt and let’s head off to Scotland.


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