English Oral Presentation Summative
Macbeth does have a couple of Malcolm’s “king-becoming graces:”’
He is courageous in battle, as demonstrated when the Captain said “For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name” (I.i.16) because of his involvement in defeating the rebels and their leader at the beginning of the play He demonstrates fortitude at the end of the play when he faces Macduff in a final battle, knowing he will lose
Of the remaining qualities (justice, verity/truthfulness, temperance, stableness, bounty/generosity, perseverance, mercy, lowliness/humbleness, devotion, and patience), he has none In Malcolm’s test of Macduff, Malcolm presents himself as a man with none of those traits who is even worse than Macbeth. “But I have none” (IV.iii.91) Macbeth therefore is not the worst possible leader Scotland could have
Macbeth’s Failure as King:
It can be said that Macbeth was better at being a soldier, fighting on the front lines, than being involved in the social and political mess of being a king He fights for his king and country exceptionally well earlier on, defeating the rebels that seek to overthrow Duncan. As the captain says, “Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chaps [...]” (I.i.22) Later on, filled with a drive to become king, he murders Duncan himself, going against the Great Chain of Being which is the action that ultimately leads to his tragic end The greatest reason why Macbeth fails as a king is because of this demonstrated ambition ruling above all of his morals. He rules in a tyrannical manner, without any restrictions as he is able to kill and starve his people A lord paints a picture of how Scotland is in his rule, “Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,/ Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,” (III.vi.34-35) This is especially generated by his obsession with power, embracement of evil, and fear of being taken down. He eliminates everyone in his way, such as Duncan, Banquo,...
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