Macbeth King Qualities

Decent Essays

The role of a king is one of great importance. Kings wield great authority and therefore must be chosen wisely. In the Elizabethan Era, kings were even believed to be appointed by God. William Shakespeare, a famous writer from this era, wrote a renowned play titled Macbeth. It follows the story of Macbeth, a mighty warrior, after he meets three witches that tell him prophecies about his future. One of the three prophecies state that Macbeth will be crowned king. In Act Four of the play, the former king’s oldest son, Malcolm, names the twelve “king-becoming graces”. Three of the twelve qualities include: temperance, verity and justice. Although Macbeth is crowned king in Act Two, it becomes evident that he does not possess these three qualities that are required to be a good king.
To begin, Macbeth does not demonstrate temperance. After Macbeth receives a report about Macduff, he becomes angered and plans to declare war. This piece of information is revealed in a conversation between Lennox and an unnamed Lord. The Lord explains that both Malcolm and Macduff are in England, and Macduff is attempting to form an alliance with the people of Northumberland. The Lord goes on to say, “And this report / Hath so exasperate their king that he / Prepares for some attempt of war” ( These lines show Macbeth’s lack of temperance because Macbeth is quickly angered and makes an irrational decision to plan for war. Another example in which Macbeth is devoid of temperance

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