What does IV.iii add to the kingship motif? What does it mean to be a true king?
Prior to Act 4 Scene 3, there have been many examples of the kingship motif. In Act 1, Scenes 4 and 6, we recognized that Macbeth and Duncan are portraying words of true kingship. Act 4 Scene 3 continues with this motif of kingship. Within this scene, Malcolm and Macduff are talking, yet Malcolm does not trust Macduff. As a result, to determine whether Macduff is trustworthy, Malcolm lies about his “vices” or immortalities. He continues by saying that he feels like he is not fit to be king. At first, Macduff disagrees and encourages him that he is in fact very fit to be future king of Scotland, but as Malcolm continues, Macduff changes his mind. Macduff, only wanting the best for Scotland, realizes that Malcolm is definitely not fit to rule or even to live. Finally, Malcolm tells him the truth and they become allies. This scene shows that both Malcolm and Macduff share the virtue of true kingship. They both love their country Scotland very deeply. This unites them to become allies and form a strong army set out to conquer Macbeth. Macduff and Malcolm want only what is best for Scotland and they are willing to go through many troubles to achieve this. As Malcolm tells Macduff the truth he states, “Macduff, this noble passion, / Child of integrity, hath from my soul / wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts/to thy good truth and honor” (Shakespeare 133-136). Malcolm is describing Macduff with the exact qualities any king should have: passion, honesty, trustworthiness, and honor. Malcolm continues by saying, “Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure / the taints and blames I laid upon myself / for strangers to my nature” (Shakespeare 142-144). Malcolm is taking back all of the vices, because he believes none of them are true. The flaws he states previously are not part of his personality at all. Lastly, Shakespeare writes, “What I am truly / is thine and my poor country’s to command” (Shakespeare 150-151). This quote, spoken by Malcolm, shows that he is very confident. Malcolm knows that he is very ready to serve his country.