Malcolm in William Shakespeare's Macbeth
In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Malcolm is one of the more cautious
characters in the play. He has the ability to realise appearances can
be deceitful and that the person on the outside may not be as innocent
as he or she is putting across.
As Duncan's son he is the natural heir to the throne and is eventually
made king at the end of the play after the death of Macbeth. Malcolm
has a reasonably good relationship with his somewhat naÃ¯ve father.
After his father's death he is full of sorrow and wants to express his
feelings. He feels all the attention is on Macbeth and his wife who
seem to be displaying grief in the extreme. Malcolm feels that Macbeth
is reacting without giving Malcolm his place. He says, "Why do we hold
our tongues, that most may claim this argument for ours?" He is
already having doubts about Macbeth's version of his father's death.
He realises that his own life may be in danger. "To show an unfelt
sorrow is an office which the false man does easy. I'll go to
Malcolm questions why Macduff has left his family and came to England
with him. He is putting Macduff to the test to see if he is willing to
follow him against Macbeth. He tries to make Macduff believe that he
will be a worse tyrant than Macbeth. Macduff replies, "Not in the
legions of horrid hell can come a devil more damned in evils, to top
Macbeth. However Malcolm continues with the words, "but I have none:
the king - becoming graces as justice, verity, temperanceâ€¦," At this
point Macduff feels Malcolm could be a worse tyrant than Macbeth and
could not compare with Duncan, a 'Most sainted king.' Malcolm then
reveals that he has been testing Macduff. Malcolm then withdraws all
he has said about himself. "What...