Who will be Scotland's new king in Macbeth?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of Macbeth, Malcolm, son of Duncan, emerges as the rightful King of Scotland. After his father's murder, Malcolm fled to England while his brother Donalbain entered exile in Ireland. Having forged an alliance with Macduff, he returns to Scotland to destroy Macbeth and claim the throne. He enters the final scene having won the battle over Macbeth's forces, and is greeted by the sight of Macduff bearing the head of Macbeth. With the usurper Macbeth dead, Macduff hails Malcolm as king:

Hail, King! for so thou art. Behold where stands
The usurper's cursed head. The time is free.
I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom'sĀ pearl
That speak my salutation in their minds,
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine:
Hail, King of Scotland!

The play ends with a lengthy speech by Malcolm in which he thanks his thanes, including Ross and Macduff, by naming them earls, the first time such a title had been bestowed upon a Scottish noble. Malcolm and his entourage exit, making their way to Scone, the traditional coronation site for Scottish kings. There his ascension to the throne will be made official.