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

Kingship in Macbeth - In Act4 Scene3, Malcolm identifies "the King becoming graces", a list of qualities desirable in a good king. With close references to the text discuss the examples of good kings as depicted by Duncan, Malcolm and Edward the confessor

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Kingship In Act4 Scene3, Malcolm identifies "the King becoming graces", a list of qualities desirable in a good king. With close references to the text discuss the examples of good kings as depicted by Duncan, Malcolm and Edward the confessor? In the Elizabethan times, people believed that a king who had acquired the throne legitimately was God's representative on earth. Therefor, a crime committed against the king, was also considered to be a crime against God. It was also believed that if a crime against the king took place, natural order would be disturbed. This could be shown in things like: very bad storms or unnatural events taking place. An example of this would be when Duncan's horses attack and eat each other. In Act4 Scene3 Malcolm identifies 12 qualities which are desirable in a good king, they are: 'Justice' (fairness), 'verity' (truthfulness), 'temp'rance' (self-control), 'stableness' (even-temperedness), 'bounty' (generosity), 'perseverance' (endurance), 'mercy' (forgiveness), 'lowliness' (humility), 'devotion' (piety), 'patience', 'courage', 'fortitude' (strength). All these different qualities would may any king near-perfect. The qualities that Duncan possessed while he was ruling as king of Scotland varied. At the beginning of the play, Duncan punishes the traitorous Cawdor and rewards Macbeth the hero. "No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest. ...read more.

Middle

He implies to Maduff that Macbeth is God compared to him, and that if he were king Scotland would be in a worst state than it is now: "..........Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell, uproar the universal peace, confound all unity on earth." Here Malcolm is implying that he is unfit to rule, but this is really to test Macduff. Malcolm also appears to be quite even tempered. In Act4 Scene3 he doesn't fly into rage in times of bad news. When the news that Macduffs family had been killed, Malcolm didn't immediately become angry, instead he tried to comfort Macduff: ".... Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak". Here Malcolm is showing that he is relatively stable. One Quality that Malcolm doesn't posses is that of perserverance. In Act2 Scene3, he fled to England, without it seemed any consideration or thought. That is just one example of how Malcolm has low endurance, and generally doesn't stick with things. Malcolm also, in some parts of the play he appears to be quite humble. An example of Malcolm's lowliness, is when he tries to comfort macduff at the loss of his family: "Merciful heaven- What, man, ne'er pull your hat upon your brows...." This shows Malcolm being sympathetic and humble towards Macduffs situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

The qualities of all three differ slightly, for example Duncan possess more qualities than Edward and Malcolm, but Duncan has some weaker areas. Each character has a different strength within those particular qualities, but the characters differ, when one has a stronger quality than another. For example, Duncan was said to posses the quality of lowliness because of his complements and calm responses. Where as Edward was complemented on his lowliness because he healed the sick. Edward clearly possessed a stronger quality on that occasion. Although all three had weaknesses the combination of all of their qualities would make a king perfect! Looking at the different qualities, it is possible to see how Macbeth failed as a king. At the beginning of the play he possessed a lot more of the qualities than what he did at the end. For Macbeth, his change from good to evil was a gradual progression throughout the play.He became selfish and ruthless in order to secure his place on the throne. As a result, he threw Scotland into chaos, and turned many of his friends against him. At the end of the play, he hardly possessed any qualities, if any. Therefor, looking at his progression from good to evil, and the ruthless character that he became, it is not difficult to see why he failed as a king. Without a doubt, a King who possessed the combined qualities of Duncan, Malcolm and Edward would be virtually faultless. By Jenny Grindley 9,6 ...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. Macbeth - How Women Are Depicted In Act I

    He wrote a book called demonologie which detailed their accused powers to forecast the future, affecting the weather and cursing their enemies. Shakespeare decides to open the play with the witches to create a dramatic effect. A Jacobian audience would've been startled by the sight of these witches and Shakespeare draws their attention with this start.

  2. "'Macbeth' is a play about the conflict between good and evil." Discuss.

    To kill the King, and violate one of the ten chief Christian commandments (which were wholeheartedly followed in Shakespeare's times) illustrates that Macbeth is cold, calculating and callous. The murder was premeditated, and not a spontaneous murder due to overwhelming emotion, further condemning Macbeth.

  1. The King Becoming graces

    Since that event, all of Shakespeare's plays have had spies in them, as Lord Walsingham, the head of Elisabeth's spy network, thwarted their plan. It can be said that a person must have these "king-becoming graces" to become king, but more importantly, to stay king.

  2. What do we learn from Macbeth about the qualities required of a good king ...

    The heavy religious imagery used by Macduff after Duncan's murder reinforces this allegiance with God and kings, "Confusion now has made his masterpiece Most sacrilegious murder hath broken ope The Lord's anointed temple" His belief in the Divine Right of Kings was reinforced with his strong belief in the hierarchical nature of society.

  1. How is kingship depicted in Macbeth?

    He starts to trust no one. We see this change when he says, "The prince of Cumberland that is a step, on which I must fall down, or else o'leap." As soon as these predictions are made he immediately wants to speed up his way to kingship.

  2. How do Act 3, Scene 2 and Act 3, Scene 4 of 'Macbeth' present ...

    describes many of these things. He says he sees strange things on that night OLD MAN: 'Withing the volume of which time I have seen Hours dreadful, and things strange; but this sore night Hath trifled former knowings.' ROSS: 'Ha, good father, Thou storey skies, stars moving addly with man's act' Ross's speech means that

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