• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Shakespeare present the issue of kingship in Macbeth?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what ways are kings & notions of kingship central to Shakespeare's Macbeth? You should consider the characters of Duncan, Banquo, & Macbeth, as well as the possible influence of James I, king of England & Scotland when the play was written in 1606 Kingship is one of the major themes of the book & throughout the play it is linked with loyalty. Shakespeare contrasts the meaning of kingship mainly through Duncan & Macbeth. Banquo is also important in the presentation of kingship because he begins his place in the story parallel to Macbeth: they are both worthy thanes, both great warriors, both loyal to the king. However as we know their characters grow further apart and become more contrastable. As it was believed at that time, the king had divine rights, as if chosen to rule by God, as it was also believed that to assassinate the king would be considered as going against God and the natural laws. Shakespeare presents Duncan, as the role model of what a king should be: trusting, honorable, generous, honest, & believes in loyalty. ...read more.

Middle

There is also evidence to show that nature is acting different, as if their natural laws have been altered, " 'Tis unnatural Even like the deed that's done, On Tuesday last, A falcon tow'ring in her pride of place Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed" (II-iv lines 10-13) Technically even though Macbeth was the cousin of Duncan, he could not be the predecessor of the throne as Duncan had two sons, Malcolm & Donalbain. However because Malcolm and Donalbain ran away after the death of their father, Macbeth had to take over the kingship role. However as Macbeth is not king rightfully, and Malcolm finds out that is was Macbeth that killed his father, he wants to avenge his father's death, and take over to lead as king. At the end of play we find that Malcolm has conjured up an army and has managed to kill Macbeth, so that he can be proclaimed the rightful heir to the throne by divine right. This ending in my opinion symbolizes how kingship should be, that the son takes over from the father, and I think that is what Shakespeare is trying to convey. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that he does not want God to see what he is doing, because of course otherwise he would not be given the kingship through divine right. Another important issue, is the "possible influence of James I, king of England & Scotland when the play was written in 1606" on the way Shakespeare presented the characters, and how he might have altered the plot to please James I. If we look at the history of the period 1606, we find that the gunpowder plot has just occurred in 1605, this event would have terrified James I. To make James I feel more comfortable, Shakespeare links him to a descendant of Banquo, a legendary figure. This shows that he is a divine king, as we know that Banquos' sons would be the rightful heirs' to the throne by divine right. Therefore in my opinion Shakespeare presents the issue of kingship as a major theme of the book, mainly through Macbeth and Duncan, and he uses Banquo as the character to compare to Macbeth, as they posses similar qualities early on. Shakespeare has also used the theme and belief that to be king you had to be given the right by God. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. How is Kingship presented in Macbeth?

    He lists them as: "justice, verity, temp'rance, stableness, Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness, Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude" (Act 4, scene 3, line 91) These are the qualities, which, in Malcolm's opinion make a good king. Malcolm says that: "My first false speaking Was this upon myself" (Act 4, Scene 3, line 130).

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present the Theme of Kingship in 'Macbeth'?

    It is also depicted very early on that Duncan is very caring towards his subjects and wants them to fulfil their potential "I have begun to plant thee, and will labour to make thee full of growing". Duncan is viewed as a flawless King who endorses other people's devotion and

  1. Macbeth was first performed in 1606 in front of King James I at Hampton ...

    Secondly, they were used as a personification of evil for the audiences. This was a symbolic character they could relate with, since the play was written especially for King James I of England, who was also King James VI of Scotland and a staunch believer in and hater of witchcraft.

  2. Kingship Essay - Macbeth The issue of Kingship was such an important issue of ...

    Besides the structure of the Hierarchy, other ideas are influential in the time of the Elizabethans. The Great Chain Of Being was the traditional Elizabethan idea of natural connection of worlds. This means that the man, spiritual world, nature and animal worlds were all linked, and the Elizabethans ascribed in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work