In Macbeth [5.8.60-64], what does Malcolm promise to the thanes who fought with him?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this concluding scene of the play, Malcolm makes a number of promises to the thanes who fought alongside him. First of all, he promises to make them all earls. This is significant since this is the first time that Scotland has ever had men of such a title, but Malcolm feels that this is important because he and his men have much to do to rebuild Scotland after Macbeth's tyrannical rule.

Secondly, Malcolm promises to recall all of the men who were forced to flee Scotland and go into exile while Macbeth was king.

Thirdly, he promises to bring to justice any of the people who worked for Macbeth, "the evil butcher," and Lady Macbeth, the "fiendlike queen." Even though it is rumored that all of Macbeth's allies have committed suicide, Malcolm swears to hunt down any survivors and ensure that they are dealt with according to Scottish law.

Malcolm therefore wants to create change after Macbeth's bloody reign, and he intends on using his thanes to make this dream a reality.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Malcolm addresses his "thanes and kinsmen" in the concluding speech of the play after Macbeth has been killed and Malcolm has claimed the throne as his father's rightful heir. Malcom tells them that he will move quickly to reward them for their devotion; he will make them earls, "the first that ever Scotland / In such an honor named." He also will bring back home to Scotland those who had to flee Macbeth's tyranny. One part of Malcolm's speech promises he will bring justice to those who supported Macbeth:

[I will produce] forth the cruel ministers

Of this dead butcher and his fiendlike queen . . . .

Malcolm lets it be known to all that he will act to heal his country from the horrors imposed upon it by Macbeth, and he will do so "in measure, time, and place."


lkjhgfd | Student

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