In Macbeth, what support has Malcolm arranged for their cause?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Having fled to England to avoid assassination, Malcolm negotiates with the King to supply him an army. Normally, the king would not interfere in Scotland's problems; however, there is an emerging state of anarchy in Scotland since Macbeth has taken the throne because of the break in the Chain of Being and because of the chaos Macbeth's regicide has brought. Many of the thanes of Scotland and their liegemen, as well as commoners who fled their country for England were eager to fight alongside the English in order to overthrow Macbeth. Macbeth recognizes these Scotsmen in Act V and asserts that if the Scottish soldiers had not revolted and joined the English, Macbeth's forces could have confronted the real English man to man and forced them back to their land:

Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home. (5.5.5-7)

In addition to this army from Scotland, Malcolm has also devised a plan to use the trees of the forest themselves as cover, and has the men advance as though they are covered with brush, not knowing the prediction of the witches about Birnam forest moving. Despite the prophesies of Birnam Wood moving to Dunsinane and his being opposed by one "of no woman born," Macbeth vows to fight. But fate is on the side of Malcolm as the prophesies of the three witches come true. Macbeth is killed and Malcolm crowned King of Scotland.

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