Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Compare and contrast between Macbeth and Malcolm? 

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Macbeth and Malcolm are contrasted as polar opposites in terms of leadership. Macbeth is a ruthless tyrant while Malcolm possesses all the attributes of an ideal king.

First, Malcolm is Duncan's son, and therefore he is the rightful heir to the throne. Further, Duncan has specifically named him heir. In contrast, Macbeth is an usurper who gains the throne through murder.

Malcolm refers to Macbeth as a tyrant, saying:

This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest.
Macduff confirms this, saying:
Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
In evils to top Macbeth.
Malcolm speaks of the vices that characterize a tyrant like Macbeth. These include being greedy, lecherous, dishonest, deceitful, unpredictable, and spiteful. Malcolm, testing Macduff, says he suffers from all of these vices and more. When Macduff finally recoils in horror and shows that his first loyalty is to doing what is best for Scotland, Malcolm says he was simply testing Macduff. Now that...

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