How does the role of witches in the play Macbeth reflect late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century English society?

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All literature reflects in some way the historical context in which it was written. Among other things, literature tells us about the cultural assumptions, hopes, and anxieties of the age. In this essay, you will place Macbeth within its historical context to examine how it reflected the political and social concerns of late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century England. ———- Before beginning this assignment, be sure you have read and viewed all of the following: 1) Braunsberg, A. (Producer) & Polanski, R. (Director). (1971). Macbeth (also known as The Tragedy of Macbeth) [Motion Picture] [2 hr 21 min]. USA: Caliban Films. You are responsible for renting, purchasing, or otherwise acquiring this film to view. Some locations where you may find a copy of the film include: Amazon Instant, Netflix, Itunes, and Google Play. 2) To read along with the film and to see the entirety of the play, go to: Shakespeare, W. (1623). Macbeth. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved from: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/macbeth/ 3) Baratta, L. (2013). Lancashire: A land of witches in Shakespeare’s time. Journal of Early Modern Studies 2, pp. 185—208. Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.vlib.excelsior.edu/docview/1640703077?accountid=134966 4) Calhoun, H.V. (1942). James I and the witch scenes in Macbeth. The Shakespeare Association Bulletin, 17(4), pp. 184—189. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23675195 5) Lolis, T. G. (2008). The city of witches: James I, the unholy sabbath, and the homosocial refashioning of the wtiches’ community. Clio, 37(3), pp. 322—337. Retrieved from: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=30h&AN=34691456&site=eds-live&scope=site ————— Then, write an essay of approximately 1000-1250 words (4 pages) in which you place Shakespeare’s Macbeth within its historical context and answer the question:

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 How does the role of witches in the play Macbeth reflect late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century English society? Make sure to consider the political situation, social order, gender roles, and popular beliefs that informed the witch stereotype. Be sure to draw on specific evidence from the film and the assigned readings. Although your paper may focus more on some readings than others, you must use and cite all three articles (Baratta, Calhoun, and Lolis). If you wish to use additional outside sources, ensure that they are scholarly sources such as peer-reviewed journal articles and e-books. —————- The essay should include: 1) An introductory paragraph with an argumentative thesis statement clearly answering the question above

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