Discuss the presentation of Kingship in the play "Macbeth", by Shakespeare, considering the characters of Duncan, King Edward and Macbeth.

Essay by daniiHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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Shakespeare wrote the play, "Macbeth", for King James VI of Scotland. The story is in fact base on Scottish history and therefore King James could relate to it well as it was about his ancestors: Banquo and Fleance, though, whom he inherited, the throne of Scotland. Shakespeare has evidently flattered his King throughout the play, for example in the witches' scene with Macbeth where they show him the apparitions of Banquo's heirs. In this instance, Shakespeare ensures that the ghost of Banquo holds:

"Two- fold balls and treble scepters"

representing the fact that James is both King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England. Furthermore, Shakespeare makes several adjustments to the historical story, for in reality Banquo joined Macbeth in the killing of Kind Duncan, but as it would not be wise to suggest that James was a descendent from evil; proving that "Macbeth" was nothing more than Elizabethan propaganda.

Throughout the play, there is an emphasis on what constitutes a good king and how he was expected to behave and what was constitutes a good king. In addition, this theme contributes to the theme of Good versus Evil also running throughout "Macbeth". Act IV, Scene III is a particularly important scene when determining the "king becoming graces" which as Elizabethan monarch should have had. One should particularly analyze the language Shakespeare uses at this point in the play. Macbeth is referred to as "black Macbeth", which contrasts to the character the audience witnesses earlier on in the play when his fellow noblemen and King greet him as "worthy" and "Great Macbeth". Lady Macbeth has also made a reference to her husband's valour, describing his heart as "white". The manner, in which Shakespeare has now completely contrasted the colours associated with Macbeth, shows the audience that:...