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Word Count: 771
The word king suffers a semantic change of pejoration throughout Macbeth It begins as a word used to describe King Duncan a person who is good and has done no evil at least in the eyes of the Scottish After the murder of Duncan by Macbeth the word begins its steady decline As Macbeth becomes king it receives his connotation that of a murderer and a schemer After Macbeth is finally taken off the throne the word regains some of its positivity leading to a slight amelioration in the last scene First I want to compare King Duncan and Lord Macbeth King Duncan in his first appearance performs two of the necessary duties of a king rewarding the good and punishing the bad Upon hearing of the treachery of the Thane of Cawdor and the heroism of Macbeth he saysNo more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest go pronounce his present death And with his former title greet Macbeth This basic act proves that King Duncan is a fair and just king since one of his Thanes betrayed him he passed his title to a second Thane in this case Macbeth who had recently performed well He apparently only used Macbeths actions to judge him rather than his standing Lord Macbeth on the other hand is a terrible king He is a tyrant and a murderer One of his first major actions as a king comes in Act 3 Scene 3 when he orders murderers to attack Banquo and his son Fleance Of course there is a small time when Macbeth tries to follow in the footsteps of King Duncan At his feast Macbeth welcomes the guests sayingYou know your own degrees sit down At first And last the hearty welcome The degrees of the lords are their social ranks Normally each person would receive an individual greeting from a servant and then be lead to his seat with
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