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Macbeth and Kingship

hello guys
as the (AQA) GCSE english exam is coming up very very quicky, i was wondering how i could answer the exam question IF kingship came up - do i talk about king Duncan and how he was the role model of a king and how Macbeth is the complete opposite, or do i link the theme of kingship with Macbeths power as a man and his control over his sanity?

many thanks 🙏🙏
(edited 1 month ago)
Yh I think you can do both. I guess you could start with Duncan and then talk abt Macbeth as a tyrant and how that ruined Scotland. Things like that.
Reply 2
Original post by aa.carrera
hello guys
as the (AQA) GCSE english exam is coming up very very quicky, i was wondering how i could answer the exam question IF kingship came up - do i talk about king Duncan and how he was the role model of a king and how Macbeth is the complete opposite, or do i link the theme of kingship with Macbeths power as a man and his control over his sanity?

many thanks 🙏🙏


Some things to consider
- how is kingship linked to virtue? Is the reign of a tyrannical king stable?
- how is the righteous king restored to the throne. Why was it important that this happened?
- what actually is kingship? What are qualities of a good king? What were Duncan’s shortcomings?


I’d relate it back to the great chain of being and how the natural order of the universe is restored. After Duncan dies, strange things happen: eg his horses eating each other. Throughout Macbeths reign he is paranoid and there is only stability after his death. At the end, they all hail Malcolm as king (eerily similar to how the witches hailed Macbeth as king) to perhaps show the play has come full circle. The righteous king has been restored to the throne.
Reply 3
Original post by subbhy
Some things to consider
- how is kingship linked to virtue? Is the reign of a tyrannical king stable?
- how is the righteous king restored to the throne. Why was it important that this happened?
- what actually is kingship? What are qualities of a good king? What were Duncan’s shortcomings?
I’d relate it back to the great chain of being and how the natural order of the universe is restored. After Duncan dies, strange things happen: eg his horses eating each other. Throughout Macbeths reign he is paranoid and there is only stability after his death. At the end, they all hail Malcolm as king (eerily similar to how the witches hailed Macbeth as king) to perhaps show the play has come full circle. The righteous king has been restored to the throne.

thanks so much for your reply.

so i could

talk more about the moment between Malcolm and Macduff when he gets tested and states all the wrong qualities of a king (in implication Macbeth)

use king Duncan as sort of a role model - but mention how he was too trusting for a king.

mention how Macbeths reign symbolises the consequences of irregularity within the great chain of being - evidence would be the horses

kingship = being king, which had standards in the Jacobean era such as being masculine, strong etc etc

Malcolm is the righteous king because he is hailed as king (like you said).


again, thanks so much for your help, i will be practising this again and again with quotes. 🙏
Reply 4
Original post by Kichen35
Yh I think you can do both. I guess you could start with Duncan and then talk abt Macbeth as a tyrant and how that ruined Scotland. Things like that.

Thanks a lot for your help 🙏🙏🙏

I have come to the conclusion that i should mention basically everything, from King Duncan's over trusting personality to the scene where Malcolm tests Macduff etc.

again thanks sm, wish you the best of luck 🙏
Reply 5
Original post by aa.carrera
thanks so much for your reply.

so i could

talk more about the moment between Malcolm and Macduff when he gets tested and states all the wrong qualities of a king (in implication Macbeth)

use king Duncan as sort of a role model - but mention how he was too trusting for a king.

mention how Macbeths reign symbolises the consequences of irregularity within the great chain of being - evidence would be the horses

kingship = being king, which had standards in the Jacobean era such as being masculine, strong etc etc

Malcolm is the righteous king because he is hailed as king (like you said).


again, thanks so much for your help, i will be practising this again and again with quotes. 🙏


Yes! The interaction between Malcolm and Macduff is very telling about Malcolm’s character and also tests macduffs loyalty to the new king. Macduff however says he is more loyal to the country, what might that say about kingship?

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