At the end of the play Macbeth, what will happen now that Malcolm is King?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Macbeth was a bloody tyrant, and even though he did not rule long he would have left quite an impression on the people.  When Macduff appears with Macbeth’s head, Malcolm tries to reassure the people with a speech.

We shall not spend a large expense of time(70)

Before we reckon with your several loves,

And make us even with you. (5:8)

Malcolm then makes a list of things he plans to do to make up for the damage Macbeth has done.  First, he says he is going to introduce a new title: Earl.  This is the first time Scotland has given out this title.  It honors those who fought against the tyranny of Macbeth.

Next, Malcolm is going to call back the “exiled friends” who fled under Macbeth’s regime.  These are people besides those who fought in the battle, such as perhaps his brother Donalbain.

[This], and what needful else

That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace

We will perform in measure, time, and place,

So thanks to all at once and to each one,

Whom we invite to see us crown'd at Scone. (5:8)

Finally, he invites them all to see him crowned king at Scone, marking the end of Macbeth’s rule and the beginning of Malcolm’s reign.

Chances are, people will be a little nervous.  They will wonder if Malcolm will be a just ruler, after Macbeth’s bloody rule.  Yet they will likely also welcome him back, because Duncan seemed to be a good, solid king and they will likely want to return to the days of his line.


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