A play is a form of literature written by a playwright consisting of dialogue or singing between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. Plays are performed at a variety of levels, from Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater, to Community theatre, as well as university or school productions. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference as to whether their plays were performed or read; the term "play" can refer to both the written texts of playwrights and to their complete theatrical performance. Comedies are plays. Comedies are filled with witty remarks, unusual characters, strange circumstances. Certain comedies are geared toward different age groups. Comedies were one of the two original play types of Ancient Greece, along with tragedies. An example of a comedy would be William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, or for a more modern example the skits from Saturday Night Live. A nonsensical genre of play, farces are acted and involve humor.
An example of a farce includes William Shakespeare's play The Comedy of Errors, or Mark Twain's play Is He Dead?. A satire play takes a comic look at current events people while at the same time attempting to make a political or social statement, for example pointing out corruption. An example of a satire would be Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector and Aristophanes' Lysistrata. Satire plays are one of the most popular forms of comedy, considered to be their own genre entirely. Restoration comedy is a genre that explored relationships between men and women, was considered risqué in its time. Characters featured in restoration comedy included stereotypes of all kinds, these same stereotypes were found in most plays of this genre, so much so that most plays were similar in message and content. However, since restoration comedy dealt with unspoken aspects of relationships, it created a type of connection between audience and performance, more informal and private, it is agreed that restoration comedy has origins in Molière’s theories of comedy, but differs in intention and tone.
The inconsistency between restoration comedy’s morals and the morals of the era is something that arises during the study of this genre. This may give clues as to why, despite its original success, restoration comedy did not last long in the seventeenth century. However, in recent years, it has become a topic of interest for theatre theorists, who have been looking into theatre styles that have their own conventions of performance; these plays contain darker themes such as disaster. The protagonist of the play has a tragic flaw, a trait which leads to their downfall. Tragic plays convey all emotions and have dramatic conflicts. Tragedy was one of the two original play types of Ancient Greece; some examples of tragedies include William Shakespeare's Hamlet, John Webster's play The Duchess of Malfi. These plays focus on actual historical events, they can be tragedies or comedies, but are neither of these. History as a separate genre was popularized by William Shakespeare. Examples of historical plays include Friedrich Schiller's Demetrius and William Shakespeare's King John.
Ballad opera, a popular theatre style at the time, was the first style of musical to be performed in the American colonies. The first musical of American origin was premiered in Philadelphia in 1767, was called “The Disappointment”, this play never made it to production. Around the 1920s, theatre styles were beginning to be defined more clearly. For musical theatre, this meant that composers gained the right to create every song in the play, these new plays were held to more specific conventions, such as thirty-two-bar songs; when the Great Depression came, many people left Broadway for Hollywood, the atmosphere of Broadway musicals changed significantly. A similar situation occurred during the 1960s, when composers were scarce and musicals lacked vibrancy and entertainment value. By the 1990s, there were few original Broadway musicals, as many were recreations of movies or novels. Musical productions have songs to help move the ideas of the play along, they are accompanied by dancing. Musicals can be elaborate in settings and actor performances.
Examples of musical productions include Fiddler on the Roof. This theatre style originated in the 1940s when Antonin Artaud hypothesized about the effects of expressing through the body as opposed to “by conditioned thought.” In 1946, he wrote a preface to his works in which he explained how he came to write what and the way he did. Above all, Artaud did not trust language as a means of communication. Plays within the genre of theatre of cruelty are abstract in content. Artaud wanted his plays to accomplish something, his intention was to symbolise the subconscious through bodily performances, as he did not believe language could be effective. Artaud considered his plays to be an enactment rather than a re-enactment, which meant he believed his actors were in reality, rather than re-enacting reality, his plays dealt with heavy issues such as patients in psych wards, Nazi Germany. Through these performances, he wanted to “make the causes of suffering audible”, audiences reacted poorly, as they were so taken aback by what they saw.
Much of his work was banned in France at the time. Artaud did not believe that conventional theatre of the time would allow the audience to have a cathartic experience and help heal the wounds of World War II. For this reason, he moved towards radio-based theatre, in which the audience could use their imagination to connect the word
The Witch (play)
The Witch is a Jacobean play, a tragicomedy written by Thomas Middleton. The play was acted by the King's Men at the Blackfriars Theatre, it is thought to have been written between 1613 and 1616. The still-extant manuscript, a small quarto-sized bundle of 48 leaves, is in the hand of Ralph Crane, the professional scribe who worked for the King's Men in this era, who prepared several texts for the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, as well as two of the surviving manuscripts of Middleton's A Game at Chess, plus other King's Men's works. Since Middleton wrote for the King's Men in this period, the Crane connection is unsurprising; the manuscript bears Middleton's dedication to Esq.. There, Middleton refers to the play as "ignorantly ill-fated." This was long taken to mean that the play failed with the audience, but modern critics allow the possibility that the play was pulled from performance for censorship or legal reasons. A 21st century adaptation is available. Two songs, "Come away, come away" and "Black spirits", occur in both The Witch and Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Middleton's play gives the full lyrics. Many scholars agree that the songs were interpolated into Macbeth during the printing of the First Folio. Middleton's primary source for material on witches was the Discovery of Witchcraft of Reginald Scot, from which the playwright drew invocations, demons' names, potion ingredients. Middleton, ignores Scot's sceptical attitude toward much witchcraft lore, mines his book for exploitable elements, he borrowed the situation of a historical Duke and Duchess of Ravenna, related in the Florentine History of Niccolò Machiavelli and in the fiction of Matteo Bandello. Witchcraft was a topical subject in the era Middleton wrote, was the subject of other works like The Witch of Edmonton and The Late Lancashire Witches. Middleton's chief witch is a 120-year-old practitioner called Hecate, her magic adheres to the Classical standard of Seneca's Medea. Middleton's Hecate has a son called Firestone, she leads a coven of four other witches, Hoppo and Puckle. The occult material in The Witch occurs in only three scenes: Act I, scene ii introduces the coven and contains abundant witchcraft exotica, to establish the macabre mood — fried rats and pickled spiders, the flesh of an "unbaptized brat," a cauldron boiling over a blue flame, "Urchins, hags, Pans, fawns...
Tritons, dwarfs, imps...", "the blood of a flittermouse," and much much more. At one point, a cat enters playing a fiddle. III,iii features the song "Come away", added to Macbeth, deals with the witches' flight through the air: at one point "A Spirit descends in the shape of a Cat," and Hecate is shown "Ascending with the Spirit." V,ii contains the song "Black spirits," inserted into Macbeth. Middleton's witches "are lecherous and perverse in the traditional demonological way, but they are funny and uncomfortably necessary to the maintenance of state power and social position by those who resort to them." Middleton's choice to set the play in Italy may reflect an element of satire against witchcraft beliefs and practices in Roman Catholic societies of his era. Duke Lord Governor Sebastian, contracted to Isabella Fernando, his friend Antonio, husband to Isabella Aberzanes, a gentleman, neither honest, nor valiant Almachildes, a fantastical gentleman Gaspero and Hermio, servants to Antonio Firestone, the clown and Hecate's son Boy Duchess Isabella, niece to the governor Francisca, Antonio's sister Amoretta, the duchess's woman Florida, a courtesan An old woman Hecate, the chief witch Five other witches, including Stadlin, Hoppo and Hellwain Malkin, a spirit like a cat Scene 1: Urbino, Italy.
His fiancee Isabella has just married the powerful aristocrat Antonio. According to the Renaissance custom of handfast, Sebastian regards Isabella as his wife in the sight of Heaven. Sebastian is distraught at the thought of Isabella consummating her marriage with Antonio that night. Antonio's courtesan Florida upset that Antonio has married another woman. Antonio's servant Gaspero assures her that Antonio will return to her after he has grown tired of his new wife. Almachildes, "a fantastical gentleman," enters and flirts with Amoretta, a lady-in-waiting, but she resists. Almachildes decides to go to "the witches" to procure a charm to make Amoretta fall in love with him; the wedding party, including the Duke, the Duchess and Isabella enter. The Duke uses it to make toasts; the Duchess conceals her disdain. In an aside, she says that she has decided upon her revenge. Scene 2: Hecate's cave Hecate, the chief witch, enters carrying serpents and an "unbaptized brat." The witches plan to boil the baby and use its fat to make a transvection ointment that enables them
Lady Macbeth is a leading character in William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth. The wife of the play's tragic hero, Lady Macbeth goads her husband into committing regicide, after which she becomes queen of Scotland. However, she suffers pangs of guilt for her part in the crime, which drives her to sleepwalk, she dies off-stage in an apparent suicide. According to some genealogists, Lady Macbeth and King Duncan's wife were siblings or cousins, where Duncan's wife had a stronger claim to the throne than Lady Macbeth, it was this that incited her hatred of Duncan. The character's origins lie in the accounts of Kings Duff and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of Britain familiar to Shakespeare. Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth appears to be a composite of two separate and distinct personages in Holinshed's work: Donwald's nagging, murderous wife in the account of King Duff and Macbeth's ambitious wife Gruoch of Scotland in the account of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is a powerful presence in the play, most notably in the first two acts.
Following the murder of King Duncan, her role in the plot diminishes. She becomes an uninvolved spectator to Macbeth's plotting and a nervous hostess at a banquet dominated by her husband's hallucinations, her sleepwalking scene in the fifth act is a turning point in the play, her line "Out, damned spot!" has become a phrase familiar to many speakers of the English language. The report of her death late in the fifth act provides the inspiration for Macbeth's "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" speech. Analysts see in the character of Lady Macbeth the conflict between femininity and masculinity as they are impressed in cultural norms. Lady Macbeth suppresses her instincts toward compassion and fragility — associated with femininity — in favour of ambition and the singleminded pursuit of power; this conflict colours the entire drama and sheds light on gender-based preconceptions from Shakespearean England to the present. The role has attracted countless notable actors over the centuries, including Sarah Siddons, Charlotte Melmoth, Helen Faucit, Ellen Terry, Jeanette Nolan, Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, Vivien Merchant, Glenda Jackson, Francesca Annis, Judith Anderson, Judi Dench, Renee O'Connor, Keeley Hawes, Alex Kingston and Marion Cotillard and Hannah Taylor-Gordon Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth appeared to be a composite of two personages found in the account of King Duff and in the account of King Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles.
In the account of King Duff, one of his captains, suffers the deaths of his kinsmen at the orders of the king. Donwald considers regicide at "the setting on of his wife", who "showed him the means whereby he might soonest accomplish it." Donwald perseveres at the nagging of his wife. After plying the king's servants with food and drink and letting them fall asleep, the couple admit their confederates to the king's room, where they commit the regicide; the murder of Duff has its motivation in revenge rather than ambition. In Holinshed's account of King Duncan, the discussion of Lady Macbeth is confined to a single sentence: "The words of the three Weird Sisters greatly encouraged him hereunto. Not found in Holinshed are the invocation to the "spirits that tend on mortal thoughts," the sleepwalking scene, various details found in the drama concerning the death of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth makes her first appearance late in scene five of the first act, when she learns in a letter from her husband that three witches have prophesied his future as king.
When King Duncan becomes her overnight guest, Lady Macbeth seizes the opportunity to effect his murder. Aware her husband's temperament is "too full o' the milk of human kindness" for committing a regicide, she plots the details of the murder; the king retires after a night of feasting. Lady Macbeth lays daggers ready for the commission of the crime. Macbeth kills the sleeping king; when he brings the daggers from the king's room, Lady Macbeth orders him to return them to the scene of the crime. He refuses, she smears the drugged attendants with blood. The couple retire to wash their hands. Following the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth's role in the plot diminishes; when Duncan's sons flee the land in fear for their own lives, Macbeth is appointed king. Without consulting his queen, Macbeth plots other murders in order to secure his throne, and, at a royal banquet, the queen is forced to dismiss her guests when Macbeth hallucinates. In her last appearance, she sleepwalks in profound torment, she dies off-stage, with suicide being suggested as its cause, when Malcolm declares that she died by "self and violent hands."
In the First Folio, the only source for the play, she is never referred to as Lady Macbeth, but variously as "Macbeth's wife", "Macbeth's lady", or just "lady". The sleepwalking scene is one of the more celebrated scenes from Macbeth, indeed, in all of Shakespeare, it has no counterpart in Holinshed's Chronicles, Shakespeare's source material for the play, but is the bard's invention. A. C. Bradley notes that, with the exception of the scene's few closing lines, the scene is in prose with Lady Macbeth being the only major character in Shakespearean tragedy to make a last appearance "denied the dignity of verse." According to Bradley
Macbeth (1960 American film)
Macbeth is a 1960 television film adaptation of the William Shakespeare play presented as the November 20, 1960 episode of the American anthology series Hallmark Hall of Fame. The series' second production of the play was, like the 1954 live telecast directed by George Schaefer, again starred English-born American actor Maurice Evans and Australian actress Judith Anderson; the supporting cast, was different, consisting of British actors, was filmed on location in Scotland. Filmed in color, the program was described in a contemporary publication as the "ost expensive TV show of all time, costing $1,200,000."Internationally, this version was treated as a feature film, was released theatrically in Europe. It was entered into the 11th Berlin International Film Festival; this television film won five Primetime Emmy Awards at the 13th annual award ceremony, held in 1961. Maurice Evans – Macbeth Judith Anderson – Lady Macbeth Michael Hordern – Banquo Ian Bannen – Macduff Malcolm Keen - King Duncan At the 13th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, the top show of the night was the NBC anthology Hallmark Hall of Fame for this production of Macbeth.
It won in all of its nominated categories. Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama The Program of the Year Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama 13th Primetime Emmy Awards Macbeth on IMDb
Richard Waring was an English-American actor. He is best remembered for his role in the film Mr. Skeffington. Richard Waring was born Richard Stephens in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire in 1911, the son of Thomas E. Stephens, a painter, whose portrait of U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower hangs in the Smithsonian Gallery of Presidents, he adopted Waring, his mother's maiden name, as his stage name. Waring was the brother of a playwright and author. Waring began his career in 1931 with Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theater in New York City in minor roles in Romeo and Juliet and Cradle Song. In 1940, he played opposite Ethel Barrymore in The Corn is Green and with Eva Le Gallienne and was signed to play the role in Hollywood opposite Bette Davis, but entered the army during World War II. Before that he was filmed in his best-known screen role in Mr. Skeffington as Fanny Trellis' brother Trippy. After his war service he appeared on Broadway as the Duke of Buckingham in Henry VIII, John Shand in J.
M. Barrie's What Every Woman Knows and as the Captain in George Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion, he appeared in many performances of the American Shakespeare Festival directed by John Houseman and at the Phoenix Theatre in New York City, playing both bit roles and major parts in many of Shakespeare's plays. He acted with Katharine Hepburn in The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, one performance in A Midsummer Night's Dream as Oberon before she had to leave the production. Waring married American actress Florida Friebus in 1934, they had one child. The couple divorced in 1952. Waring and his second wife Kathy had no children, he became a naturalized United States citizen in 1937, adopting Richard Waring. Waring died of a heart attack on 18 January 1993 in City Island, New York. Dear Jane L'Aiglon The Women Have Their Way Camille The Corn Is Green At the Stroke of Eight The Man Who Killed Lincoln Alice in Wonderland A Pound on Demand Androcles and the Lion What Every Woman Knows King Henry VIII Gramercy Ghost Portrait of a Queen Elizabeth the Queen Second Husband Brothers in Law in the role of Henry Blagrove Studio One Wuthering Heights Hallmark Hall of Fame: MacDuff in Macbeth with Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson Kiss Me Again, Stranger Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 3 Episode: 31 Festive Season Hallmark Hall of Fame: Bertrand in Eagle in a Cage with Trevor Howard as Napoleon Scenes from Romeo and Juliet with Eva Le Gallienne Poems of Rupert Brooke
Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign, it was first published in the Folio of 1623 from a prompt book, is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself, he is wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler; the bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death. Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of King of Scotland.
The events of the tragedy are associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, it has been adapted to film, opera, novels and other media. The play opens amid thunder and lightning, the Three Witches decide that their next meeting will be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth, the King's kinsman, is praised for his fighting prowess. In the following scene and Banquo discuss the weather and their victory; as they wander onto a heath, the Three Witches greet them with prophecies.
Though Banquo challenges them first, they address Macbeth, hailing him as "Thane of Glamis," "Thane of Cawdor," and that he will "be King hereafter." Macbeth appears to be stunned to silence. When Banquo asks of his own fortunes, the witches respond paradoxically, saying that he will be less than Macbeth, yet happier, less successful, yet more, he will father a line of kings, though he himself will not be one. While the two men wonder at these pronouncements, the witches vanish, another thane, Ross and informs Macbeth of his newly bestowed title: Thane of Cawdor; the first prophecy is thus fulfilled, Macbeth sceptical begins to harbour ambitions of becoming king. King Duncan welcomes and praises Macbeth and Banquo, declares that he will spend the night at Macbeth's castle at Inverness. Macbeth sends a message ahead to Lady Macbeth, telling her about the witches' prophecies. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and wishes him to murder Duncan in order to obtain kingship; when Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections by challenging his manhood and persuades him to kill the king that night.
He and Lady Macbeth plan to get Duncan's two chamberlains. They will be defenceless. While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including a hallucination of a bloody dagger, he is so shaken. In accordance with her plan, she frames Duncan's sleeping servants for the murder by placing bloody daggers on them. Early the next morning, Lennox, a Scottish nobleman, Macduff, the loyal Thane of Fife, arrive. A porter opens the gate and Macbeth leads them to the king's chamber, where Macduff discovers Duncan's body. Macbeth murders the guards to prevent them from professing their innocence, but claims he did so in a fit of anger over their misdeeds. Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland fearing that whoever killed Duncan desires their demise as well; the rightful heirs' flight makes them suspects and Macbeth assumes the throne as the new King of Scotland as a kinsman of the dead king. Banquo reveals this to the audience, while sceptical of the new King Macbeth, he remembers the witches' prophecy about how his own descendants would inherit the throne.
Despite his success, Macbeth aware of this part of the prophecy, remains uneasy. Macbeth invites Banquo to a royal banquet, where he discovers that Banquo and his young son, will be riding out that night. Fearing Banquo's suspicions, Macbeth arranges to have him murdered, by hiring two men to kill them sending a Third Murderer; the assassins succeed in killing Banquo. Macbeth becomes furious: he fears that his power remains insecure as long as an heir of Banquo remains alive. At a banquet, Macbeth invites Lady Macbeth to a night of drinking and merriment. Banquo's ghost sits in Macbeth's place. Macbeth raves fearfully, as the ghost is only visible to him; the others panic at the sight of Macbeth ragi
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce