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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

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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.


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.


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.

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