Comparison of Macbeth and Malcolm as Kings and Leaders of men
Shakespeare's Macbeth is a politically centered play, it dramatizes the contrasted effects of power and authority upon a land. It is a play of political figures and ambition, of power and authority, of order and disorder, and of the restoration of peace. The central concern of the play is the issue of legitimate and illegitimate kingship; Shakespeare concentrates upon succession, regicide, usurpation, and the abuse of power, or tyranny. The leadership and thereby kingship of Macbeth and Malcolm are evaluated through all of the characters presented on stage. All of the characters, including witches, serve the play in acting to make, support, or destroy a king. This evaluation of kingship extends to all three Kings within the play, a victim in Duncan, an ambitious tyrant in Macbeth and a steady-handed heroine in Malcolm. Shakespeare holds the play to this focus through the simplicity of the plot. The dramatized struggle between the dictatorial regime of Macbeth and the more heroic movement led by Malcolm to perform what is seen today as a political shift to the left from right wing is a timeless focal point that allows for comparisons between Shakespeare's Ma
Malcolm, as the righteous King of Scotland being defiend by Duncan, "Prince of Cumberland" has little need to maintain an overtly cautious policy with his subjects; the true King yet does not take a stance of indifference towards his subjects. In Macbeth, any wrongdoing on the part of the King is considered tyranny; and an unjustice that clearly does not serve to benefit the people is one that has been comitted to serve only the ruling monarch. Malcolm's fear is for Scotland and the well being of his people. Fear is always in ambition"tms shadow, never receiving the acknowledgment it deserves. The refusal to acknowledge the balance within reason is the destruction of Macbeth. As Macbeth reached the throne through an act of injustice, his true leadership abilities as presented to god are questioned by other around him. The involvement of Lady Macbeth in Duncan's murder is that of the instigator, without Lady Macbeth it is entirely possible that Macbeth himself would have become King honourably and lead a reputable kingship. 27) is the substrate awaiting catalysis by other characters to create a great tragedy. When describing the heroics of Macbeth and Banquo, Duncan states that "They smack of honour both"(I,ii,45); how unfortunate it is that Macbeth is forced through external power to bow to his fatal flaw, ambition. Ironically, by the time that Macbeth has fallen from greatness he is socially higher than he was when he was considered a great man. The revolutionary movement based in England is allowed to grow in popularity within his own court due to his inability to accurately assess true threats within his court and distinguish them from his own fabricated enemies. The decisions that Macbeth makes once his malaligned fear begins to support his ambitions casts him into amorality and makes the final removal of his kingship inevitable. As the rightful King, Malcolm is presented with a true ambition to take his place as the King of Scotland. Macbeth's mind traps him into performing acts void of morality, but the manner in which he is forced to undertake them allows him to be considered a victim of his own ambition. In closing and in observation of his life, Macbeth was an honourable man who fell into dischord due to an ambition that became unchecked due to external pressures beyond his control, a true Shakespearean tragedy.