Copyright

Malcolm in Macbeth: Traits, Character Analysis & Quotes

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Though Malcolm is a minor character in Shakespeare's ~'Macbeth,~' he's the rightful heir to the throne of Scotland. Through character analysis, explore how this character changes, matures, and impacts the events in the play. Updated: 09/07/2021

Macbeth Overview

Macbeth is a tragedy written by the popular author William Shakespeare. The play tells the story of the murder of King Duncan at the hands of the general Macbeth, who then becomes king. Instead of avenging their father's death, Malcolm and his brother Donalbain flee Scotland out of fear for their own lives.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Banquo in Macbeth: Character Analysis, Death & Characteristics

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Macbeth Overview
  • 0:37 Summary and Character Analysis
  • 2:17 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Summary and Character Analysis

After two generals, Macbeth and Banquo, defeat two armies who were trying to invade Scotland, King Duncan wants to honor them. Shortly after their victory, three witches told Macbeth and Banquo they would gain positions of power in the future; in fact, they were told Macbeth would become king. When Macbeth tells his wife about what the witches told him, she convinces Macbeth to kill the king in order to overtake the throne.

Malcolm is King Duncan's oldest son and the heir to the throne of Scotland. After his father dies, Malcolm is afraid for his life and confused about his role. Instead of stepping in to become king, he leaves Scotland and goes to England. Malcolm states, 'this murderous shaft that's shot, hath not yet lighted, and our safest way is to avoid the aim' (Act 2, Scene 3).

In England, Malcolm matures significantly. He gathers an army to battle Macbeth's army and regain his throne with the help of one of his soldiers, Macduff. Before trusting Macduff, Malcolm tests his loyalty. Malcolm displays a cunning nature when he makes Macduff believe he (Malcolm) is a bad person with bad intentions for Scotland.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Practice:
Malcolm in Macbeth: Traits, Character Analysis & Quotes Quiz

Instructions: Choose an answer and click 'Next'. You will receive your score and answers at the end.

1/5 completed

Who assists Malcolm in defeating Macbeth to regain the throne of Scotland?

Create Your Account To Take This Quiz

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Try it now
It only takes a few minutes to setup and you can cancel any time.
Already registered? Log in here for access

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account