Essay Edgar Allan Poe

Submitted By neel99
Words: 1851
Pages: 8

The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, is a short tragedy about a character named Macbeth. The major characters in the play include King Duncan, three witches, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, Malcolm (prince of Cumberland), and Macduff. Shakespeare makes reference to the “Great chain of being” and King James’ belief in the “Divine Right of Kings” in the play. Both of these beliefs state that a crown is only given to the right ruler that has been chosen by the will of God, and not from any “temporal authority” which includes the will of his subjects, aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm or his own will. God chooses him and the monarch is accountable only to him and only needs to answer to God for his actions. These beliefs also imply that the king can only be thrown out of power and recoup the crown by the will of God only.1 This is how the political legitimacy worked in Elizabethan time. The differences between a good and a bad king are discussed between Malcolm and Macduff in act 4, scene 3 - for example, the healing power that King Edward holds. In the play, Duncan was the rightful king of the Scotland. Because of witches’ prophecies and Macbeth’s ambition, he killed the King Duncan and disrupted the whole political legitimacy cycle. Duncan is referred to as “Good King” while Macbeth is referred to as a “tyrant.” Some of the qualities that were discussed between Malcolm and Macduff that king posses are justice, truth, moderation, stability, generosity, perseverance, mercy, humility, devotion, patience, courage, and bravery. Malcolm says that he does not posses these qualities; instead he is lustful, greedy, chaotic and has a violent temperament. He was actually characterising the qualities of Macbeth. The king must be able to keep order and should reward his people according to their contribution to the community. Perhaps, one of the most important trait that true Kings have is the loyalty to his land and people above himself, which is also evident in Macduff and Malcolm’s conversation. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Duncan is the rightful King of Scotland and Macbeth represents a tyrant because he does not follow the political legitimacy in Elizabethan time. This is evident through symbol (the weather), respect from the people of Scotland, and qualities that Kings have (such as giving justice).

A good king is always admired by his people and Duncan was one of them. He had all the good qualities that a king should have. Macbeth himself describes Duncan as a good king and explain what would happen if he were to die. He says:
faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked newborn babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.
(1.7, 17-25).
Here, Macbeth explains that Duncan has been such a respected leader and free of corruption that his good deeds will speak for him when he dies, as if the angels were playing trumpet against the injustice for his murder. The innocent newborn baby will ride on the invisible horse like angel with wings through the air and spread the news of the horrible deed to everyone. People will shed tears because they love their king dearly. These qualities prove that Duncan was the God’s representative on the earth and Macbeth knew that such actions would have serious consequences and would not be admired by the people of Scotland. He will be known as a tyrant. There are several quotes throughout the play that show that Macbeth doesn’t please his people. For example Malcolm states,
For, where there is advantage to be given,
Both more and less have given him the revolt,
And none serve with him but constrainèd things
Whose hearts are absent too.
(5.4, 11-14).
What Malcolm is saying here is…