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Discuss The Presentation Of Kingship In The Play "Macbeth", By Shakespeare, Considering The Characters Of Duncan, King Edward And Macbeth.

1377 words - 6 pages

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:"Not in the legionsOf horrid hell can come a devil more damn'dIn evils to top Macbeth"The noun "legions" fits in with the imperial theme, for the country's legions would be part of a King's power. The alliteration Shakespeare uses in this quotation emphasizes the maliciousness of Macbeth's nature, and along with the phrase "a devil more damn'd in evils", it is as though not even the devil is as evil as Macbeth. Every descriptive word that Malcolm uses to describe Macbeth contains "s" sounds, and this repetition of sound produces a harshness when read aloud, which again conveys the wickedness of Macbeth, and fits in with the idea of how his"Sole name blisters our tongues"as started by Malcolm earlier on in this scene. It should also be taken into consideration that by doing this, Shakespeare has allowed the world "bloody" to stand out, which is of good effect as it has been the key word throughout "Macbeth". Perhaps, this could even be stretched and argue that this technique reflects the hissing sound made by a snake, therefore, the audience is witnessing how "the worm" of Macbeth's evil has now become a grown "serpent", whose evilness is stronger,...

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