Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 164. Saturday, 13 March 1993.
Date: Friday, 12 Mar 93 23:14:52 EST
Subject: The Real Duncan
My apologies if this has been responded to already:
> Robert O'Connor writes:
> The idea that Duncan was a super-virtuous king is one that I have been told
> is not (by some interpretations of the sources) accurate - any comments
Yes, Duncan's character is another element of "history" with which WS took
liberties. In Holinshed Duncan is a rather young and rather inadequate
ruler. He may have supplied Macbeth with a legitimate beef by naming
his son as Prince of Cumberland: the rules of succession at the time
supposedly would have made Macbeth in line by his wife and the son of her
last husband. Look at *Holinshed's Chronicle* (Everyman, 1965), p. 205ff.