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Types Of Leadership In The Kings Of Macbeth

1810 words - 8 pages

A leader is someone who can take charge of a situation and be able to make the right decisions in a short amount of time. A leader works well with others and those around him follow his instructions. Some people are natural leaders and others only think they should be in charge, but all of them are nothing without people to direct. The choice to take on the responsibility of leadership is hardly ever one’s own, especially when one is a member of the royal family and has to take command because of his bloodline. To become king is an honour that passes through a family that has earned the respect of the country. Sometimes though, the person who receives this honour is not right for the ...view middle of the document...

These lines describe how Duncan has hardly used his powers as king during his reign and instead he lets the people take care of themselves. The only evidence of Duncan giving orders is after he has been attacked by the rebel Macdonald and the Norwegians. Because Duncan did not use his authority, his few honourable decisions are all the people know about him and the only material they can draw conclusions from about him. As king, Duncan delegates most responsibilities to his lords and has news and messages brought to and from where he is located. During his short time in the play as king, Duncan sends Ross to “Go pronounce [Cawdor’s] present death/ And with his former title greet Macbeth” (1, 2, 64-65). Then, he waits until Malcolm announces that he has spoken “With one that saw [Cawdor] die…” (1, 4, 4) and shortly thereafter Macbeth arrives to see Duncan. Meanwhile, Duncan stays in one place and does not do any work unless the occurrences are in front of him. All updates come through someone else and therefore the messages Duncan sends could be changed or misinterpreted. When Duncan does become involved in the action, he is very benevolent and rewards those in the upper class who have helped him and his kingdom. Duncan wishes Macbeth was not such a good soldier so “That the proportion both of thanks and payment/ Might have been [Duncan’s]” (1, 4, 19-20). He then also gives the title of Prince of Cumberland to his son Malcolm who Duncan believes will be able to lead the Scottish people after he dies. Duncan gives so much away and seems to involve himself in affairs but can only see the good outcomes and causes for celebration. His distance from what is really going on behind his back in the country allows him to trust everyone unconditionally. Because of this blindness to the bad, he continues to shower praise on Macbeth for his bravery and cannot suspect Macbeth’s evil thoughts. In summary, the distance of Duncan’s leadership role from the reality of the play develops his character as king.

Next, Macbeth’s reign as king involved his leading through total control. Macbeth is a ruthless man both as a soldier fighting and as a king searching for as much power as possible. In battle, Macbeth “…Unseam[s] [Macdonald] from the nave to th’chaps/ And fix[es] his head upon [the] battlements” (1, 2, 22-23) and then is able to fight off the Norwegian lord who “… surveying vantage, / With furbish’d arms and new supplies of men/[begins] a fresh assault” (1, 2, 31-33). Macbeth never gives up even when he gains more opponents and continues to fight until all his enemies are dead or beaten back from Scotland. Sparring with the leaders of the other armies shows how he is the most prestigious soldier in Scotland and the way he kills the rebel shows his unrelenting skill with the sword. Macbeth is also full of ambition that leads to his insatiable need for power over all. “…the gracious Duncan [Macbeth has] muder’d” (3, 1, 67) to clear the way for his crowning...

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