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King Duncan Macbeth

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Last Updated: 29 October 2020

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Tragedy Macbeth is set in medieval Scotland. Three witches in storm plan to meet Macbeth, warrior and Thane, after the current battle, uprising against King Duncan. As victorious Macbeth and Banquo cross heath, witches appear to them. They address Macbeth first as Thane of Glamis, then as Thane of Cawdor and finally as King. They also tell Banquo that his descendants shall be kings. Witches vanish and noblemen approach Macbeth to tell him that Duncan has named him the new Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth now understands witches ' pronouncements as prophecy. He wrote to tell his wife what had happen. Lady Macbeth muses on ambition and invokes dark spirits to fill her with cruelty in preparation for helping Macbeth take the throne. Duncan and his retinue come to Macbeth castle. Macbeth plots to kill him. Macbeth has second thoughts, but is spurred on by her wife and commits murder. He also kills Duncan guards and Lady Macbeth plants bloody daggers on them. Knocking at the gate rouses household and the Duncan corpse is discover. Macbeth claims to have killed the guards in righteous fury. The Duncan sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, flee in fear of their lives. Macbeth take crown. Macbeth remembers that Banquo witnessed witches prophecy and hired murderers to kill him and his son, Fleance; Fleance escapes. Macbeth is haunted by Banquo ghost at feast. Lennox recognises Macbeth's guilt, and Macduff goes to England to summon military aid. Macbeth seeks further counsel from witches, who produce visions that tell Macbeth to be wary of Macduff, but that he cannot be harmed by any man born of woman, nor will he be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. The fourth vision shows that Banquo descendants will be kings. The play descends further into darkness as Macbeth has Macduffs family slaughter and learns that Lady Macbeth has gone mad with guilt. She die, probably by suicide. Malcolm, Macduff and other nobles take arms against Macbeth. Advancing army camouflage themselves by cutting boughs from Birnam Wood, creating the impression that Wood is coming to Hill. Macduff and Macbeth fight; Macduff reveals that he was not born but rather cut from his mother's womb. He kills Macbeth and Malcolm becomes crown King.

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Character Analysis Duncan

KING DUNCAN is lot like the historical figure Duncane from Shakespeare's main source for the play, Volume II of Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. In Chronicles, Duncane is too soft and gentle of nature and is in contrast with Macbeth, who is cruel of nature. Shakespeare picked up on this contrast in Macbeth. If, on one hand, KING DUNCAN is too gentle and Macbeth, on the other hand, is tyrant when he becomes KING, then is play calling for something in between KING that rules with authority and mildness? And is Shakespeare slyly suggesting that KING James I, who traces his lineage back to Banquo, just might be that guy?

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by Ben Johnson

Duncan and MacBeth-famous names thanks to Shakespeare and Scottish Play, MacBeth. But how historically accurate is the Shakespeare story, if at all? For centuries, clans have been waging war on each other. Viking warriors had been raiding the coasts of Scotland. King Malcolm of Scotia, King of Scots and Picts, rout Angles of Lothian in the Battle of Carham in 1018 and became the most powerful man in Scotland. When King Owen of Britons of Strathclyde died later that year without issue, Duncan became the rightful heir through marriage. Malcolm was therefore able to unite the Four Kingdoms of Scotland under one throne. Scotland in the early 11 century had finally become a single nation.

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Shakespeares Macbeth

The play begins with the brief appearance of a trio of Witches and then moves to a military camp, where Scottish King Duncan hears news that his generals, MacBeth and Banquo, have defeated two separate invading armiesone, from Ireland, led by rebel Macdonwald, and one from Norway. Following their pitched battle with these enemy forces, MacBeth and Banquo encounter Witches as they cross the moor. Witches prophesy that MacBeth will be made Thane of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland. They also prophesy that MacBeths companion, Banquo, will beget line of Scottish Kings, although Banquo will never be King himself. Witches vanish, and MacBeth and Banquo treat their prophecies skeptically until some of King Duncans men come to thank two generals for their victories in battle and to tell MacBeth that he has indeed been named Thane of Cawdor. Previous Thane betrayed Scotland by fighting for Norwegians and Duncan has condemned him to death. MacBeth is intrigued by the possibility that the remainder of Witches ' prophecythat he would be crown kingmight be true, but he is uncertain what to expect. He visit with King Duncan, and they plan to dine together at Inverness, MacBeths Castle, that night. MacBeth wrote ahead to his wife, Lady MacBeth, telling her all that had happen. Lady MacBeth suffers none of her husbands ' uncertainty. She desire kingship for him and wants him to murder Duncan in order to obtain it. When MacBeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections and persuades him to kill the King that very night. He and Lady MacBeth plan to get Duncans two chamberlains drunk so they will black out; next morning they will blame murder on the chamberlains, who will be defenseless, as they will remember nothing. While Duncan is asleep, MacBeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including the vision of a bloody dagger. When Duncan's death is discovered the next morning, MacBeth kills chamberlainsostensibly out of rage at their crimeand easily assumes kingship. Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland, respectively, fearing that whoever kills Duncan desires their demise as well. Fearful of the Witches ' prophecy that Banquo's heirs will seize the throne, MacBeth hires a group of murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. They ambush Banquo on his way to the royal feast, but they fail to kill Fleance, who escaped into the night. MacBeth becomes furious: as long as Fleance is alive, he fears that his power will remain insecure. At feast that night, Banquo ghost visits MacBeth. When he sees a ghost, MacBeth raves fearfully, startling his guests, who include most of great Scottish nobility. Lady MacBeth tries to neutralize damage, but MacBeths kingship incites increasing resistance from his nobles and subjects. Frighten, MacBeth go to visit Witches in their cavern.

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Earl of Moray

MacBeth, King of Scotland, ruled a peaceful Kingdom from 1040 to 1057. Consider by many historians as the last of Gaelic kings of Scotland, MacBeth has become less of a historical figure and more fictional character. At the hands of later chroniclers-mostly English-and ultimately by pen of William Shakespeare, MacBeth changes into a despicable ruler, far cry from real person. MacBeth MacFindlaech was born in 1005 AD, same year his grandfather became King. His father, Findlaech MacRuaridh, controls the province of Moray as Mormaer. His mother Doada was the second daughter of Malcolm II. MacBeth, meaning son of life in Gaelic, was described by contemporary chroniclers as being a handsome man, liberal King. Fair, yellow hair and tall. Ruddy countenance. At the age of seven, MacBeth was sent away to be educate, requirement for children of important chieftains, under tutelage of Christian monk-as set by law. Term of study usually lasts about ten years. In 1020, at age fifteen, his cousins Malcolm and Gillecomgain kill MacBeth's father. Reason escape history, but it could have been that Findlaech MacRuaridh had established a warm relationship with the House of Atholl. As for MacBeth, not much is known about him at this time, it is possible he was far away from his studies. MacBeth reappears once again in chronicles around the year 1032 when elect Mormaer of Moray upon his cousin Gillecomgain's death. After being elected Mormaer, he marries Gillecomgain's widow, Gruoch, and adopts her son, Lulach. Gillecomgain died on raid on his castle ordered by Malcolm II. MacBeth has now become a candidate for kingship. Scarcely two years later, his candidacy was legitimize when Malcolm II, at the age of eighty, passed away of natural causes on November 25 1034. One month later, on Christmas Day, Duncan MacCrinan, whom Malcolm had previously named his successor, was elected High King at the age of thirty-three. Duncan ruled for six uneasy years. His thirst for power coupled with incompetence on the battlefield resulted in troubled times for Scotland. An example of Duncan's incompetence that ultimately led to his down fall occurs in 1038, when the Earl of Northumbria attacked southern Scotland. Attack was arrest, but chieftains prevailed on Duncan to counterattack. He also wants to invade the Orkneys and bring them under his rule. Over everyone's objections, he chose to do both. In 1040 he open two fronts, sending his nephew Moddan to the Orkneys while himself leading force South into England. Duncan's cavalry attempted an assault on the fortified city of Durham and was nearly annihilate. Northumbrians mount counteraction and rout the rest of his army. While fleeing north in disorder, he meets his nephew who told him about his defeat in the Orkneys. Gathering remaining clans, they advance north, Duncan by sea, Moddan by land. The result was defeat by hand of Mormaer of Orkney, Thorfinn Sigurdsson. Moddan died in the attack.

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Military Defeat and Death

In time, Malcolm's efforts lead to action. In 1054, Siward, earl of Northumbria, accompanied by Malcolm, lead army north into Scotland. Meeting little resistance from southern provinces, they continue north. On July 27 1054, Macbeth's forces meet invaders in Dunsinnan, close to the capital of Scone. By the end of the Battle, 3 000 of Macbeth's forces had fall. The Invaders only lost 1 500, but the outcome was indecisive. Macbeth retrenches his army near Scone and Malcolm moves South to control Cumbria, southernmost province of Scotland. Over the next three years, Macbeth and his army were under constant assault by Malcolm, but he was able to stave him off. In 1057, Macbeth loses the support of two key allies, Pope Leo IX and the Bishop of. Andrew, Maelduin MacGille-Ordain, both of whom could have put pressure on England to not support Malcolm. Macbeth also lost her chief general, Thorfinn, ruler of the Orkneys, who had recently die. On August 15 1057, Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire by Malcolm's men as he was trying to return to Moray. His body was buried in the holy isle of Iona, where many other Scottish kings were bury. A few days after his death, his stepson, Lulach, was elected high King. Lulach rules for seven months before being killed by Malcolm's agents. Finally, on April 25 1058, Malcolm MacDuncan became high King of Scotland.

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Sources

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