Brian Boru – the Shakespeare Connection!

posted on April 23rd 2014 in Brian Boru & Shakespeare with 0 Comments


Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful tragedies. And although the events in the play differ substantially from actual historical events, the characters are based on people who actually existed. And one who had a very direct link with Brian Boru.

The Macbeth of the title was the Mormaer or High Steward of Moray, who lived from 1005 – 1057. His mother Donalda was the daughter of of Scotland’s King Malcolm II and his wife Blanaid. And Blanaid was the daughter of Brian Boru and his first wife Deirdre.

So today, April 23rd, as we mark Shakespeare’s 450th birthday and the 1,000th anniversary of Brian Boru’s death, it’s interesting to reflect on what the Bard himself might have made of the incredible story of the Battle of Clontarf.

Original image courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

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