Mid Term Essay

Mac Bethad mac Findlaích anglicized as Macbeth, and nicknamed Rí Deircc, "the Red King" was King of the Scots from 1040 until his death on 15 August 1057. Macbeth's father was Finlay, Mormaer of Moray, and his mother may have been Donada, second daughter of Malcolm II.   He is best known as the subject of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth and the many works it has inspired, although the play presents a highly inaccurate picture of his reign and personality.

In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis who is led to wicked thoughts by the prophecies of the three witches and is eventually tempted into the murder of the elder King Duncan, by his wife Lady Macbeth, to fulfill his ambitions to the throne. In reality, Macbeth killed Duncan, who was about 39 year’s old, in battle, and made himself king instead. Shakespeare also develops Duncan as a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler during the play, but was considered a poor king to the point of being a tyrant and a military failure. In 1045, Macbeth defeated and killed Duncan I's father Crinan at Dunkeld. Macbeth's marriage to Kenneth III's granddaughter Gruoch, referred to as Lady Macbeth in the play, strengthened his claim to the throne. His reign was for the most part peaceful, and he was known for his generosity to the Church.   On 15 August 1057, Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire by Duncan's eldest son, Malcolm Canmore. Macbeth was the last Scottish king to be buried on Iona.