How the Theme of Kinship Is Dealt with in Macbeth

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  • Topic: Macbeth, Mandate of Heaven, Sovereignty
  • Pages : 2 (650 words )
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  • Published : November 25, 2012
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Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth contains an ellaborate exproation of the theme of kingship. The main character's evil plan aims at overthrowing the current ruler and assuming power over Scotland. Based on this the playwright profoundly analyses which qualities are the most important in a king and the divine right of kings. Before carrying out his plot Macbeth weighed up all the reasons why he wanted to proceed with it and all the arguments against his terrible murder plan. One such argument is that “this Duncan has been so clear in his great office.” Duncan is portrayed as a wise ruler who feels strongly abou the security of his country in the ongoing war with Norway. However, our encounter with this noble man is very brief. Macbeth, once he became king, did not know how to rule a country.

His major concerns are for his own safety and for te security of his own power. He doesn’t even consider the welfare of the Scottish people before going ahead with the regicide. This shows that no matter how dedicated you are to your country, even as a great warrior and “Bellona’s bridegroom” – as an ordinary person you may not rule a country. This message is reflective of the prevailing belief in the divine right of kings that existed in Shakespeare’s day. Macbeth is not fit for the task: with his Scotland is “bleeding.” The tyranny is reflected by the weather and bizarre supernatural events (pathetic fallacy). The playwright’s use of language in Macbeth is probably the brightest example of his ability to develop striking images. The enormous amount of heart-stopping gruesome references to blood and violence emphasise the consequences of the inadequate regime for which Macbeth is responsible. However, the Bard of Avon not only condemns the bad ruler but he explores the good qualities that a king should possess. Desperate and helpless, Macduff arrives in England to see Malcolm, the legitimate successor to Duncan's throne. Malcolm is almost an embodiment of all the positive...
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