In act 1, scene 4, what is the connection between Duncan, Malcom and the Prince of Cumberland?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Duncan is the present King of Scotland at the start of the play. Malcolm is his eldest son. This did not automatically entitle him to accession to the throne, but creating him Prince of Cumberland (which Duncan does in Act One) does do so, as the title is only given to the heir, in the same way that the title Prince of Wales is reserved for the heir to the British throne. Malcolm and Duncan are also linked in their suitability for the kingship, possessing the 'kingly virtues', although it could be argued that Duncan is somewhat lacking in the 'good judgement' required, given his misjudgement of both Thanes of Cawdor in the play.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial