How would you explain the following quotation from Macbeth?"My plenteous joys,Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselvesIn drops of sorrow.Sons,...

How would you explain the following quotation from Macbeth?

"My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow.
Sons, kinsmen, thanes,
And you whose places are the nearest, know
We will establish our estate upon
Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter
The prince of Cumberland; which honor must
Not unaccompanied invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers. (To MACBETH) From hence to Inverness,
And bind us further to you."

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Duncan, the king, speaks these words after his forces have won the day and secured his throne and Scotland against Norway and traitors at home. Duncan is so pleased with Macbeth's victories that he's given him the title Thane of Cawdor as a reward and had the old thane executed for treason. Therefore, when Duncan says, "My plenteous joys, / Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves / In drops of sorrow," he means that he is so happy, so pleased, that it threatens to make him cry. Next, he speaks to all those loyal nobles who are so close, like family to him, because he wants them to listen to him. He names his older son, Malcolm, the prince of Cumberland; this is the term for the next in line to the throne. Thus, Duncan has made Malcolm his heir. Duncan assures them all that he will honor them as well for their loyalty and bravery. When he speaks to Macbeth, he says that they will now go to Macbeth's home in Inverness, where Macbeth's hospitality toward him will further obligate him to Macbeth in honor.