Home / Q: Was Macbeth As Bad As Shakespeare Portrayed Him?

Q: Was Macbeth As Bad As Shakespeare Portrayed Him?

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A: Absolutely not! In fact, we implore you to forget everything ole William told you about the guy. The real Macbeth was a political genius who united the disparate Scottish lords and set Scotland on the path to nationhood. He was also beloved by the common people for his charity and piety and the fact that, unlike his predecessors, he preferred to rule in peace rather than involve them in disastrous wars abroad.

In 1054, Malcom, son of Duncan I (a hated egotist whom Macbeth had defeated fair and square in battle, not murdered in his sleep as Shakespeare would have it), invaded Scotland with an army of Anglo-Saxon mercenaries looking for land and power. Macbeth fought a three-year war against the invaders but was ultimately killed.

As for Malcom (III), he became one of Scotland’s worst kings, and that’s saying a lot; he fought numerous wars against England, losing every time, taxed the commoners to ruin, and put hated Sassenachs (Englishmen) in positions of power. Overall, one of the worst trades in the history of the British Isles.

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  • Macbeth… Macbeth… is that the play based on the movie Scotland, Pa.?