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Was Duncan a weak king? In the time of Shakespeare maybe not, but in the present day he would definitely not be reigning over England. A king is someone who has authority, someone who is strong and stern, someone

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Introduction

Macbeth Coursework: Response to pre-1900 drama Historically Duncan was a weak King. To what extent do you think he is a good king or an ineffective king in Shakespeare's presentation of him in Macbeth? In your answer you must consider: - His personal qualities and whether they make him more or less effective as a king; - His treatment of others, for example through rewards or punishments; - What he says and does; - What others say about him; Shakespeare's use of dramatic methods in the presentation of Duncan as king; - Relevant social, cultural, historical context related to kingship. Was Duncan a weak king? In the time of Shakespeare maybe not, but in the present day he would definitely not be reigning over England. A king is someone who has authority, someone who is strong and stern, someone who people respect and trust, someone who sticks to their decisions and someone who people can rely on to make the right ones all of the time. I don't think this would match a description of Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

Duncan comes at night by horseback, he rides on a white horse showing purity and good as shown in the BBC Production of Macbeth, but it is night and it is very dark which shows evil. When Duncan arrives at the castle he says "This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses." What Duncan does not realise is that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have planned to kill Duncan in his sleep, but of course Duncan has been too gullible to realise this. Another bad fault with Duncan is shown through what he says and does. One example of what he says and how this make him a less effective king is shown in Act 1 Scene 4. "Thou art so far before, that swiftest wing of recompense is slow to overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved, that the proportion both of thanks and payment might have been mine! Only I have left to say, more is thy due than more than all I can pay." ...read more.

Conclusion

So really Duncan did not need to praise, honour, thank or respect his subjects as if anyone tried to remove him as king or restrict his powers were going against the will of God. In conclusion I would just like to say that Duncan is weak as, he is very inconsistent in his decision making and he makes decisions on the spot. This is bad as he could be pressured into making the wrong choice. Duncan praises his subjects too much and regards them as being more worthy than him when he says he cant thank them enough, but Duncan does not need to thank them or reward them as they are only carrying out their duty. Also Duncan is a very old king, he does not fight in battle and couldn't boost his men's moral when they are fighting. Ideally his subjects need a role model in battle. Finally Duncan is definitely not a thinker as he always seems to act before thinking of consequences or asking questions also showing signs of ignorance. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework Matt Meaklim ...read more.

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