Would Malcolm Be A Good King? Essay, Research Paper
In Shakespeare?s Macbeth, two kings are killed because they are not good kings. There are a few important characteristics a good king should have to be popular with and good for his people. Such a king must be cunning and well-informed, loyal to his people, and he must not abuse his power. Duncan was killed by Macbeth because he was oblivious to Macbeth’s wants and intentions, which made it easy for Macbeth to kill him. Macbeth was not a good king because his primary interest was his own power, and he was so preoccupied with this power that he paid no attention to the conspiracy mounting against him. It was for these reasons that he was so quickly and easily killed.
Malcolm, however, was the rightful king, not Macbeth, because he was so named by his father, and he would be a good king because he is cunning, intelligent, and he cares about the people. Malcolm is loyal to his people and will not abuse his power like “devilish Macbeth” (IV.iii. 136). This is evidenced by Malcolm’s criticism of Macbeth, which include calling him “bloody/ Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful/ Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin/ That has a name” (IV.iii. 70-73). These traits of Macbeth make him a bad king, and Malcolm despises them and will never be like Macbeth in those ways. Malcolm is sincere in scorning these flaws because, although he seems pretentious in boasting the his lack of such flaws, he admits that he does have some imperfections himself. He confesses to Macduff that “there’s no bottom, none, / In [his] voluptuousness” (IV.iii. 73-74), but Macduff knows that Malcolm will be a good, fair king despite his defects.
Malcolm would not only be a good king, but he is also capable of overthrowing Macbeth. When Macbeth killed Malcolm’s father, king Duncan, after Malcolm was named successor to Duncan, Malcolm fled to England, fearing his own life. This “puts upon [him]/ Suspicion of [bribing the guards to murder Duncan]” (II.iv. 37-38), which does not seem very cunning, but in England he gains allies to help him regain his rightful crown from Macbeth. When Macduff goes to England to urge Malcolm to attack Macbeth, Malcolm very craftily makes sure that Macduff is also his ally. He then reveals to Macduff that he has also gained support from the king of England, king Edward, who has provided him with “Siward [a commander] with ten thousand warlike men” (IV.iii. 153) to aid him in the attack of Scotland and Macbeth. By gaining allies and soldiers and by testing the loyalty of his said friends, Malcolm had planned his attack well and won back the crown from Macbeth. Malcolm is the rightful king of Scotland, not only because of his royal blood, but also because of his ingenious tactics and good will. Because of Malcolm’s slyness and loyalty to his people, he will be a good king of Scotland.