Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 164.  Saturday, 13 March 1993.
From:           Christoppher Johnston <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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
> anyone?
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.
Todd Johnston

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