Comparing Macbeth's Three Scottish Kings, And Trew Law

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Macbeth’s Three Scottish Kings and Trew Law
Kingship was a contentious issue throughout western European history. Determining throne succession, the role of the king to his subjects, and the role of the subjects were debated and enacted differently throughout reigns. James VI of Scotland (who later would become James I of England) published Trew Law of Free Monarchies in 1598 in which he defines the role of the king and his subjects, lays out the qualities of good kingship, condemns resistance theory, and promotes divine right. All of these were still popular issues at the time and heavily debated. Macbeth, a play produced in 1606 by William Shakespeare, implements many of these ideals into the context of the Scottish throne, specifically three kings: Duncan, Macbeth and Malcolm. Each king’s different approach to obtaining the obedience of their subjects (one of the qualities of kingship in Trew Law)
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James uses many biblical figures in Trew Law to define the qualities of kingship and uses them to promote his kingship. He first writes the king is to minister justice which involves punishing those who commit evil and rewarding those who promote good. Next he writes the king is to make laws and make sure the laws are obeyed by subjects and maintain peace both within the kingdom and with other kingdoms. James finishes by writing the king is to promote and keep the Religion and defend the state with its people (2). James lists these off as the important qualities of a king very clearly. All of these qualities listed above in addition to appointed by God can be used to define a good king. In Macbeth, two kings are seen on the Scottish throne with one more assumed to take the throne at the end of the
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