In the Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, one of more interesting theories is the theory of kingship Essay

Published: 2021-07-28 10:35:07
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In the Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, one of more interesting theories is the theory of kingship, which is developed in Macbeth through the presentation of three men. These men are Duncan, Malcolm and Macbeth. Each of these three characters demonstrates the three different and interesting types of kingship, which evidently adds to the play Macbeth. In short, Duncan is a good man but a useless king, Macbeth rules according to the Machiavellian concept and Malcolm’s character emerges as a good man and a good king.
Even before the second Forres scene act 1, scene 4, the point of Duncan’s downfall, we see that Duncan is a good man but an unskilled king. Duncan is a kind man because he openly and kindly greets his nobles with praise. However, he is a poor leader and hence king because in the first Forres scene act 1, scene 2 Duncan did not fight along with his soldiers. Some might say that this is necessary because Duncan is an old man; others may see this as a reason why Duncan should not be in power.
When a king doesn’t fight along side of his troops, it decreases their confidence and opens opportunity for a rebellion. Another reason Duncan should not rule Scotland is that he is too trusting in his nobles. Duncan’s “absolute trust” for the Thane of Cawdor nearly cost Duncan his life and country. As describe in the second Forres scene, Duncan makes this same mistake again in the Thane of Cawdor, who is this time Macbeth. During the second Forres scene, Duncan makes probably the most thoughtless speech he could have made.
This speech in turn costs him his life. Three terrible mistakes appear in his speech and actions: he rewards unfairly; shows his emotions too freely; and again, he trusts too willingly. Duncan rewards Macbeth with the title and land of the Thane of Cawdor, as well he says that he will have greater rewards later in time, shown by the words “I have begun to plant thee, and will labor to make thee full of growing. “1. 4. 28-29 While Macbeth gets many tangible gifts; Banquo simply receives a token of Duncan’s approval, an embrace.
A good ruler should never reward unfairly, for the receivers may become jealous or conceded, and may even wish to over through the king. Secondly, Duncan cries half way through his speech. A good king should always control his emotions. This is because crying shows there is a weak king in power. These first two mistakes as a king seem fairly trivial, but telling who will be the next king, in turn trusting his noblemen too much, is a risk a good king should never take. We see the terrible consequences from Duncan’s fault in these words spoken by Macbeth: “The Prince of Cumberland!
That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap, For in my way it lies. ” 1. 4. 48-50 This simply means Macbeth realizes from Duncan’s speech that he must kill to become king. From this quotation we can see another fault in Duncan’s character; he doesn’t learn from his mistakes. This conclusion comes from the fact that there are now two Thanes’ of Cawdor that have betrayed him. In contrast to Duncan, Macbeth doesn’t trust any one. He decides to use the concept of Machiavelli to help him keep the crown.
Perhaps Macbeth’s most cunning speech that demonstrates the concept of Machiavelli is the speech with Banquo just before Banqou’s death. It is amazing because Macbeth finds out all the information he needs to kill Banquo: how far he’s going; if he will be at the feast for sure; and if Banqou’s son, Fleance, will be coming. Again using the Machiavellian concept, Macbeth plans to kill Fleance so no one will be left to seek revenge. Macbeth finds all this information in a friendly and unnoticeable fashion.
The concept of Machiavelli, that Macbeth is using, seems to be a good way to rule, but there are three problems with his way of ruling: Macbeth has too many enemies to keep track of; he draws more attention to himself with every murder; and he can’t live with his conscious. His conscious almost kills him and the other two problems kill him. Malcolm, Macduff and others escape Macbeth’s grasp after becoming suspicious of him and kill him in the end. Macbeth’s and Malcolm’s different approaches to ruling are similar in the fact that they are very planed out, but as we will see, Malcolm has the better way of ruling—a just and noble way.
Malcolm possesses close to all the characteristics of a good ruler. One of the best characteristics he possesses, in direct difference to his father, is that he does not trust easily; the scene in England illustrates exactly this. When Macduff first comes to see Malcolm, Malcolm says; “Macduff, this noble passion, Child of integrity, hath from my soul Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth By many of these trains hath sought to win me Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me From over-credulous haste: but God above Deal between thee and me. or even now I put myself to thy direction, and Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure The taints and blames I laid upon myself, For strangers to my nature. I”m yet Unknown to woman, never was forsworn, Scarcely have coveted what was mine own, At no time broke my faith, would not betray The devil to his fellow and delight No less in truth than life: my first false speaking Was this upon myself: what I”m truly, Is thine and my poor country”s to command: Whither indeed, before thy here-approach, Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men, Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now we”ll together; and the chance of goodness Be like our warranted quarrel. Why are you silent? ” 4. 3. 115-137 Malcolm lists five clever reasons why Macduff could be a traitor stated in this passage: Macbeth was once thought to be a good man just as once was Macduff, and Macbeth betrayed him; Macduff used to be very good friends with Macbeth; Macbeth was not harmed Macduff in any way; Macduff may gain titles through the death of Malcolm; and finally, Malcolm’s most genius theory is why would Macduff flee Scotland without his family if he thought Macbeth was after him?
He later finds out that his family has been murdered when Ross tells him; “Your castle is surprised; your wife and babes Savagely slaughter”d: to relate the manner, Were, on the quarry of these murder”d deer, To add the death of you. “4. 3. 204-207 Malcolm’s final speech shows a final good characteristic—he rewards fairly; “We shall not spend a large expense of time Before we reckon with your several loves, And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen, Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland In such an honour named.
What”s more to do, Which would be planted newly with the time, As calling home our exiled friends abroad That fled the snares of watchful tyranny; Producing forth the cruel ministers Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen, Who, as “tis thought, by self and violent hands Took off her life; this, and what needful else That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace, We will perform in measure, time and place: So, thanks to all at once and to each one, Whom we invite to see us crown”d at Scone. 5. 8. 60-75 By making all his Thanes and kinsmen earls, they are all rewarded and they will all act as their own guard dogs. If one earl wants to gain power, the others will shut him down. Throughout Macbeth, Duncan has shown that he is a good man and Macbeth has shown some key points a king should have. In the sight of restored peace, Malcolm demonstrates the kindness and nobleness his father had and the.

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