How does King Edward, who is described in act 4, scene 3, contrast with Macbeth?

King Edward, described in act 4, scene 3 of Macbeth, contrasts with Macbeth in just about every way. Most significantly, he is able to heal the sick and prophesy. These divine powers distinguish him from Macbeth, making it appear that Edward has God's favor while Macbeth does not, and this gives Edward's English army the divine right to invade Scotland and depose its most unrighteous king.

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If Macbeth is in thrall to the dark powers of the supernatural, then it would appear that King Edward has God's favor. As well as being a good man—which Macbeth most certainly isn't—Edward even appears to have the power to heal the sick, an indication to his credulous subjects that he is truly God's anointed.

The contrast with Macbeth really couldn't be greater. Whereas Macbeth murdered his way to the throne after his head was turned by witches' prophecies, Edward has become king of England by divine right. In other words, whereas Macbeth became Scottish king due to the forces of darkness, Edward acceded to the throne of England because God willed it.

As Edward has the divine right to be king, he also has the divine right—indeed, the divine duty—to attack and destroy the forces of darkness wherever they manifest themselves. Edward doesn't have too far to look to see the most dangerous manifestation of evil.

North of the border lives the wicked regicide and murderer Macbeth, whose unholy alliance with the forces of darkness renders him a real and present threat to Edward's godly kingdom. With God on his side, or so he believes, at any rate, Edward can feel confident in invading Scotland with an armed force to remove Macbeth from the throne.

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King Edward of England contrasts with Macbeth most significantly in his ability to heal the sick, something that, for Christians, only God can do. Malcolm tells Macduff that Edward's ability is "miraculous," that he is visited by extremely sick people who are "All swoll'n and ulcerous" and whom medicine has not helped (4.3.169, 173). Edward prays for them and hangs a "golden stamp about their necks," and they are, miraculously, healed of their terrible malady (4.3.175). Further, in addition to this apparently divine gift of healing, Edward "hath a heavenly gift of prophecy" as well, and these kingly gifts have benefited the kingdom of England greatly under Edward's rule (4.3.179).

It seems, then, that King Edward is truly anointed by God, as he is able to perform miracles, such as healing the sick, and predict the future. Macbeth, of course, has no such abilities. In fact, Scotland has languished and suffered under his rule. Edward has healed where Macbeth has destroyed.

One major reason why this is important in the play is that it gives King Edward and his army license, the seemingly divine right, to invade Scotland and kill Macbeth, who is now king. At the time Shakespeare wrote the play, true kings were believed to be chosen and blessed by God, and so it was a tricky thing to consider killing a monarch. In contrasting Edward with Macbeth, Shakespeare makes it clear that, in the play at least, God was not with Macbeth, because if God were, then Macbeth would have these divine powers that Edward enjoys.

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King Edward appears to be the polar opposite of Macbeth. According to three witnesses, Macduff, Malcolm, and Ross, Macbeth has been a disaster for Scotland. The Scottish people are bleeding, wounded, and dying because of Macbeth's evil. The country is sick. Macduff describes it as follows:

Each new morn
New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face.
Malcolm says:
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke.
It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds.
Ross brings the report that in Scotland:
...good men’s lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying or ere they sicken.
In contrast, King Edward is so virtuous a king that he cures his people's illnesses with his touch. In contrast to Macbeth, who relies on the deceptive and false prophecies of witches, Edward has the true gift of prophecy. 
 
Shakespeare is at pains to show that a virtuous king, one who is chaste, honest, unselfish and pure, will gain gifts from heaven that will make his people well. On the other hand, kings like Macbeth, who base their power on evil deeds, spread the sickness of their evil to their people. King Edward is said to cure the evil that causes illnesses; Macbeth spreads the evil that leads to illness and death.
 
Shakespeare, in this play, examines the role of the good king. Only a morally virtuous king can bring healing and benefits to his people. The moral character of a king is all important to the overall health of a nation. Macbeth harms far more than himself: he harms an entire country. 
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In Act Four, Scene 3, Malcolm asks the Doctor if King Edward is coming out. The Doctor responds by telling Malcolm that a crowd of people have gathered and are waiting for King Edward to heal them. The Doctor proceeds to explain to Malcolm that King Edward has been given a special power from heaven to heal people by simply touching them. Malcolm then mentions to Macduff that he had witnessed King Edward's special gift and recalled a time when King Edward healed several people who had strange illnesses. Also, King Edward has the gift of prophecy and will bequeath his ability to heal others to his royal descendants. All of King Edward's unique gifts are signs that he is in God's favor. King Edward is described as a benevolent ruler who is loved by God and his subjects. 

In contrast, Macbeth has a murderous touch, and his subjects fear him. Also, Macbeth does not possess unique gifts, nor is he in God's favor. Macbeth's descendants will not inherit his throne, and he is essentially cursed by his own ambition. 

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The English doctor comments to Malcolm on the "healing touch" of Edward, the English king. Edward's healing and grace stands in contrast to Macbeth's murderous touch.

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