Shakespeare - His View on Kingship

1600 WordsOct 8, 19997 Pages
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…show more content…
Also totally different to what is said about Duncan, ‘my liege', ‘great king' and after his death he is called an ‘angel'. Duncan is Shakespeare's idea of a perfect, impartial king. Shakespeare shows Duncan to be an example to all other kings and people, he shows love for his country when he asks the captain news from the war. He speaks to people with respect and dignity when the bleeding captain brings news of the war act1 sc2 L24 ‘o valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!' People talk to him with the utmost respect, they know that he is a truly great king ‘my liege', ‘great king' and cries of ‘god save the king' are dominant in act1 sc3. He also shows that he can be fair and rewarding because he praises the brave Captain and he also puts the Thane of Cawdor to death for betrayal against his country and then awards Macbeth his title for his heroic doings against Norway. He also can be a charmer and very polite when he is greeted by Lady Macbeth at their household act1 sc6 L10-15. Even after his death people still speak highly of him, even Macbeth refers to Duncan as ‘gracious' (act3 sc1 L65) and when Macduff argues with Malcolm, he appeals that his father ‘was a most sainted king' (act4 sc3 L109). Malcolm also says, ‘angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.' This means that there still are good kings to come
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