KING Macbeth of Scotland, on whom Shakespeare’s play was based, died on August 15, 1057.
1. August 15 may also be the day on which he became King after his forces killed King Duncan near Elgin probably on August 14, 1040.
2. Shakespeare’s play, ending in Macbeth’s death, takes place over a year whereas in reality, Macbeth ruled for 17 years.
3. Macbeth calls Duncan “cousin” in the play though it is not certain they were first cousins.
4. Chroniclers of the time described Macbeth as a “liberal king” with “fair, yellow hair and tall” and having a “ruddy countenance”.
5. Scotland was so peaceful under his rule that Macbeth made a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050.
One idea of the superstition against saying “Macbeth” in a theatre is that Shakespeare took some lines for his three witches from a real coven who cursed the play
6. The name “Macbeth” (or MacBheatha or Mac Bethad) means ‘son of life’ in Gaelic.
7. Macbeth is the only play by Shakespeare that includes the word ‘rhinoceros’.
8. Nancy MacBeth was leader of the Alberta Liberal Party in Canada from 1998-2001.
9. The origins of the superstition against saying “Macbeth” in a theatre are unclear. One idea is that Shakespeare took some lines for his three witches from a real coven who cursed the play.
10. The role of Macbeth is 719 lines long, which is only half the length of Hamlet.