“Macbeth” – Do You Think He Was a Good King?
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1069
- Category: Macbeth
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When Shakespeare wrote the play “Macbeth” kings and queens were real rulers. Kings were looked upon as the descendents from God on earth. Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth” is one of his most popular tradegies like “King Lear”, “Othello” and “Anthony and Cleopatra.” Shakespeare’s plays were always performed in The Globel Theatre in London. He wrote some of his plays based on true stories made up. In the play “Macbeth” is set in the times when Scotland was a completely independent country. Scotland was ruled by kings. Shakespeare read an ancient book called “The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland” by Rapheal Hollinshed and came up with the tragedy “Macbeth”. Shakespeare had combined his ideas with Scotland’s violence involving plots and Hollinsheds’ book to make up the essence of the play. In Hollinsheds’ book it says
“A King called Duff was killed by a captain called Donwald, Donwalds wife persuaded him to do it”
This shows how Shakespeare got one of his main ideas. Duncan, Macbeth and Edward were all real Kings in scottish history. Duncan I was the King of Scotland from 1001 to 1040. One of King Duncan’s generals in his army was a noble man called Macbeth. Although in 1040 Macbeth killed Duncan and then became King. In real life Macbeth was a good king and Duncan wasn’t. This makes him really different from the Duncan in the play.
I think a good king should be religious because in the Elizbethan times Kings were looked upon as Gods’ kings repersentitives on earth. I know King Duncan was religious because one of his own subjects Macduff says in Act4, Scene 3
“Thy royal father
was a most sainted king.”
This shows that King Duncan was a religious person. On the other hand Macbeth wasn’t religious. I know this because in the play he talks to witches and apparitions, which were believed to come from the devil. Malcom calls him “devilish Macbeth”
At the beggining of the play King Duncan was showing two sides to himself. In the opening scene when the battle is taking place he shows that he can be a bad king by not going into battle with his army. In Act1 Scene 2, at the start of the scene, we discover that he doesnt lead his men into battle because it says,
“A camp near the battlefield”
This makes me question his bravery and wonder if he is a good king.In Act1 Scene 2 King Duncan shows he is a caring leader because he seems genuinely concerned that one of his captains was injured. He sends for surgeons
“Go get him surgeons”
I think it is important for a king to be caring towards his subjects.
I also know that the king is very powerful and that he gained loyalty by giving Macbeth the title of Thane of Cawdor. I know this because it says
“And with this former title greet Macbeth.”
We can see that the former Thane of Cawdor was a traitor and he has now chosen Macbeth. It’s ironic that King Duncan gave the traitors title to Macbeth soon to be another traitor. This makes me question his judgement because he chooses the wrong people to trust A king should surround himself whit loyal subjects, not traitors. Malcom, his own son, to become the next in line of the throne and did not choose Macbeth. In Act5 Scene he said
“Our eldest Malcom whom we name hereafter
The Prince of Cumberland;”
Duncan didn’t have to give the title to his eldest son.
He said to Macbeth
“More is thy due than more than all can pay”
which tells us that he owes Macbeth everything and anything, yet he gives his son the title and not Macbeth. King Duncan may have noticed a weakness in Macbeths character which suggested he would not be a good king. This shows me Duncan was a good king and perhaps a good judge of character.
He gives commands and in return he is obeyed. King duncan is ruthless and would kill anyone without mercy which actually is a sensible way of gettting rid of his enemies for example Thane of Cawdor.
I think King Duncan shows concerned because in Act1 Scene 2 he says
“Dismayed not this
Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?”
King Duncan is a Genourous and rewarding person. I know this because he rewards Macbeth for his bravery in battle. This shows me Duncan was a good king. Duncan’s flaw is that he is too trusting. As a leader I think that it is important to be a good judge of character. He should surround himself with good men. He admits to trusting the Thane of Cawdor.
It is ironic when Duncan enters the castle he’s unaware that the danger that he is in. It’s ironic when he says
“This castle hath…….
Unto our gentle senses.”
King Duncan compliments the beauty of their home and thinks he safe but yet he is in danger, I question his lack of judgement and wonder if he’s fit to be a king.
He greets Lady Macbeth and gives her a diamond and is very gracious and genourous. This shows Duncan is a good king and good to his people.
Duncan is fair he killed people for good reasons for example The Thane of Cawdor.
Duncan was loved by his subjects and even Macbeth the man who killed him. I know this because in Act 1 Scene 7 he has doubts about killing Duncan
“First as I am his kinsmen and his subject,”
This shows that he doesn’t want to commit a murder a good King. This tells me that King Duncan was a good king.
In conclusion I think that Duncan is a good king compared to the tyrant Macbeth. Personally I think that Malcom will be a better and more wiser King. I think that King Duncans downfall was that he was too trusting and his lack of judgement of his subject. He would have needed these qualities to be a good king. He was a human and all human beings have flaws in their characters. He did however make one very wise decision he choose Malcolm to be his successor.