Macbeth Kingship Essay

1606 words - 6 pages


With detailed reference to the characters of Macbeth, Duncan, Malcolm and Edward in the play ‘Macbeth’, analyse William Shakespeare’s ideas and attributes towards kingship and assess what you think the audiences reaction to the play would be at the time.

Shakespeare’s ideas towards kingship can be seen throughout the play. He shows that a king should be chosen by divine right and shows the attributes of what a good king should be.

The play ‘Macbeth’ is set in medieval Scotland at the fictional time of King Duncan. Scotland is currently at war with the Norwegians when news of their victory comes through, with thanks to the two leaders of the army Macbeth and Banquo. On their travel home Macbeth and Banquo stumble upon some old hags, and they predict Macbeth’s future to him. This startles Macbeth and his hunger for power grows so much that he and his wife plot to murder the well-respected King Duncan. Under Macbeth’s reign, Scotland becomes a country of turmoil because of the wicked leadership. Macbeth murders his best friend and another friend’s family and because of this Tyranny, paranoia sets in on Macbeth who sees many ghostly visions of people he sent out to be murdered. Scotland greatly suffers under his reign, this turns Lady Macbeth mad, and she eventually commits suicide. Macduff, eventually goes to England to ask for the help of the noble king Edward, who is highly respected for help to overthrow the leadership of Macbeth, and so the Anglo-Scottish revolt sees Macbeth to his death and Malcolm the son of Duncan is proclaimed king of Scotland.

Macbeth is the main character in the play and starts the play as a very hard fighting, loyal soldier whose bravery had just led the way to a victory over the Norwegians. It could be an essay in its own right to talk about how the character of Macbeth develops and changes, at the beginning he is a god-like hero –a firm, strong, loyal character. But through allowing his ambition to suppress his good qualities, he becomes ‘this tyrant’ (act4 sc3 L12 –Malcolm), this ‘dwarfish thief’ (act5 sc3 L12 –Angus) and this ‘hellhound’ (act5 sc6 L42 –Macduff). The character of Macbeth is a study of how one person can degenerate from ‘Bellona’s bridegroom’ (act1 sc2 L55) to ‘this dead butcher’ (act5 sc6 L108). Ambition is his fatal weakness. He allows, first the witches’ prophecy act1 sc3 L46-50 and then his wife’s ambition for him, to undermine his integrity act1 sc5 L58-68. He is not easily won over by evil, his love and respect for Duncan is evident throughout the play. Because Banquo knew the prophecy of the witches, he ordered his death in case he thought that he might have killed Duncan, act3 sc1 Line start – 10 Banquo says he has all three as the witches predicted. Under his reign of tyranny, he kills and slaughters. A dominant feature about the play is that when there is a bad king, the country as well suffers, and many characters talk of how Scotland is suffering act4 sc3 L168-169 ‘Where sighs, and...

Find Another Essay On Macbeth - Kingship

Macbeth Comparison Essay

579 words - 2 pages Lady Macbeth learn about the witches' predictions, then roles in the plans to murder king Duncan in order to gain power and then finally after the murder, Macbeth doesn't want to finish the plan making Lady Macbeth angry and causing a chance they might get caught and gain no power at all.Lady Macbeth shows more ambition then Macbeth does in terms of gaining power regarding kingship. When Macbeth finds out about the witches' predictions and the

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare Essay

941 words - 4 pages pursue these titles, the role of king in particular as he was not to receive it by chance. “Malcolm, son of Duncan, King of Scotland,” if not for the murders Macbeth would have not gained the kingship as Malcolm was heir. By the witches suggesting that Macbeth would become king they are liable for creating the possibility for Macbeth to choose to commit the disasters that followed. If Macbeth would have not heard the witches’ prophecies it would be

Who Is To Blame For Macbeth's Tragic Downfall?

850 words - 3 pages Macbeth, one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, depicts the treacherous steps that one ambitious man endures to receive the title of kingship. With the company of Banquo, whom the throne will heir to in the future, Macbeth is confronted by three witches who inform him that he will one day be king. Macbeth believes the witches prophecies, therefore deciding that he must rid of all who are of the utmost importance in terms of kingship. Once Macbeth

Mcabeth by shakespeare. subject under examination is corruption by power

625 words - 3 pages begins to feel that killing the king is the right thing to do because Kingship is the desire of both Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth. Macbeth still has his own fortune in his hands but the lure of power looms ever greater within his mind.Once Macbeth kills Duncan, he begins to ignore the moral issue of murder; it is only a way to eliminate enemies to his Kingship. Macbeth has Banquo murdered (III.i.80-139). Banquo is one of Macbeth's closest friends. The

Macbeth

546 words - 2 pages This greed that drove Macbeth made him eager to acquire kingship. In order for Macbeth to become king, he chose to kill Duncan. Macbeth did not deserve to be king if he was immorally willing to kill an innocent man whom he had nothing against. He was not entitled to his kingship. But Macbeth's greediness kept the thought of murdering Duncan lingering in his mind: Present Fears are less than horrible imaginings. My thoughts, whose murder yet is

Macbeth analytical essay

772 words - 3 pages important as in the movie.The representation of themes has four main points which include the corruption of power and unchecked ambition, the difference between kingship and tyranny, order and disorder and the relationship between cruelty and masculinity.The first point is the corruption of power and unchecked ambition is represented in Shakespeare's Macbeth by Lady Macbeth influencing Macbeth's decisions, Macbeth was unsure whether he should kill

Study of Macbeth and the leading characters in Shakespeares play

1623 words - 6 pages Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, is ambition, greed, and murder. Macbeth, through various slaughters and plots of revenge, proves that he is the cause of his own collapse. At first, our impression of Macbeth is one of a courageous and capable warrior, who is greatly respected and admired by the King and his subjects. This is all true until Macbeth visits the Weird Sisters, who prophesize his rise to kingship. Also, Lady Macbeth influences Macbeth to go after

Appearance and Reality in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1198 words - 5 pages the first prophecy he had heard from the three witches had come true. After he goes back to his castle, he and Lady Macbeth plan to kill Duncan, and they do. The witches’ second prophecy has also come true, but Macbeth does not recognize that the witches are deceiving him. Macbeth worries very much about the third prophecy that Banquo’s next generation will be king. He worries that his own kingship will not stay long, and will be taken by

Last name 1 The Set-Up name teacher course-code date         Macbeth

1192 words - 5 pages ruined him but left a painful scare on all he knew. Many interfered with his countless wrongful acts which just provoked him to do more. Macbeth, Lady Macbeth as well as the 3 witches brought Macbeth to his downfall because they started and encouraged Macbeth's own obsession with the promises the witches made to him and with the establishment and maintenance of his kingship. In the beginning of the play Macbeth there was a battle in

The Lust for Power in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1254 words - 5 pages , prophesied that he would rise to kingship. They said "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis" (I, 3, 48), and then as the thane of Cawdor "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor" (I, 3, 49). At this point in the play Macbeth had just become thane of Glamis, and the thane of Cawdor is still alive. Then, the witches greeted Macbeth as the King of Scotland saying "All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be King hereafter" (I, 3, 50

To what extent can Lady Macbeth be considered the fourth witch in Macbeth? Support your answer with reference to the text

539 words - 2 pages be difficult for anyone to ever forgive her.Next, Lady Macbeth rarely shows any sympathy towards anyone. To obtain the title of kingship and queen ship for Macbeth and herself, Lady Macbeth is willing to "pluck[plucked] her[my] nipple" from a "babe", even when it was "smiling in her[my] face". This evidently shows the lack of sympathy in her, and even a babe, she would not let off. For Lady Macbeth, manliness excludes compassion and nurturing

Similar Essays

Shakespeare, Macbeth What Does Macbeth Say About Kingship?

1286 words - 5 pages What Does Macbeth Say About Kinship? -How?Macbeth was written just after the gunpowder plot in 1605, this was a severe act of treason and the people of Britain needed something to rest their spirits that it could happen again. Shakespeare wrote this play to quiet the rabble at the top layer of the play, but if one were to investigate more deeply one would find his true beliefs of kingship at the time.The play is based in Scotland, under the rule

Shakespeare, Kingship, And The Chain Of Being In Macbeth

961 words - 4 pages Shakespeare, Kingship, and the Chain of Being in Macbeth Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" is largely based upon the theme of kingship. "Macbeth" was written for James the 1st, who would have been interested in kingship and believed in the "chain of being" and the "divine right" of kings. The "chain of being" is the belief that everything is connected like a chain, and is affected by anything above it. God was believed to be

With Reference To The Four Kings In Macbeth Discuss Shakespeare's View Of Kingship

3311 words - 13 pages of profound importance to James I due to the murder of both his parents. The questions of the role of a king and the attitudes and behaviours that they should display were particularly relevant to James. Shakespeare has written Macbeth with James in mind. In the play, Shakespeare shows that having divine right is very important for a king and his view of kingship can be seen through the characters of Duncan, Macbeth, Malcolm and Edward. He

Discuss The Presentation Of Kingship In The Play "Macbeth", By Shakespeare, Considering The Characters Of Duncan, King Edward And Macbeth

1377 words - 6 pages lists, which gives the characters' speeches an endless feel, and regarding the theme of kingship, it is as though where there is a good king, he is truly God's decree, but when there is an "unworthy" king, he is a most wicked usurper. Malcolm is the"truest issue of thy throne"unlike Macbeth who is portrayed as the:"untitled tyrant blood-scepter"and it is left to Malcolm in the end, (as nature can only be restored to its equilibrium by action