Two monarchs held the English throne during the time that Shakespeare wrote his plays, and both came to be patrons of his work. The first was Elizabeth I and the second was James I.
Both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I were avid fans of drama and delighted in the theater. Elizabeth used her influence to encourage drama in England, and Shakespeare in turn was her devoted servant and is thought to have eulogized her in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." King James admired poetry and favored the dramatic arts, especially in his later years. "Macbeth" is thought to be a direct tribute from Shakespeare to his second royal patron.