Ironically, during the week of the church's Epiphany, my group had our own small one regarding Macbeth and how to write about it. A visitor from the university, Professor McDurmott, came to help us understand the material we are analysing. Her area of expertise is focused on Old English literature, especially Shakespeare. When we told her that our critique is from a feminist theory point of view, she instantly knew that we were going to use Lady Macbeth as our main example. From there, she gave us a historical context for her character.
The play was written for the King of England at the time, James VI and I. He had taken over after Queen Elizabeth, whom the people of England had great respect for. However, James was what one could call a misogynist. First, he had a very strained relationship with his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots. He takes over the crown from a sole female ruler that was loved by her people. And finally, he was a closetted bisexual. All the while, he must portray his family as a fairytale. He employs Shakespeare to create a propaganda of sorts. Lady Macbeth is a symbol of Queen Elizabeth. The Macduff family (how a family ought to be) is supposed to represent James' family. The play is intensely critical of female power, just like James himself.
The theme for this week was research.