Macbeth

(4680 words)
  • Kenneth D. Farrow (Independent scholar)

For a king of Scotland upon whom large amounts of material have been written, from chronicles to poetry and drama, we know very little about the historical figure who reigned in his native country from 1040-1057. What we do know, however, must be regarded with caution and only as deriving from the most reliable traditions that we have access to. Facts are surely discernible within them, but legends are traceable, even to almost the very earliest documents. By the time we reach the work of Shakespeare, Macbeth’s most famous “biographer”, fiction has become powerfully predominant.

As far as we can tell, the man we now call Macbeth was the son of “Findlaech” (d. 1020), who was the “mormaer” of Moray …

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Citation:
Farrow, Kenneth D. . "Macbeth". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 December 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12223, accessed 25 October 2014.]