Macbeth's Demonic Right Monarchy


Literature and Politics
King James
Divine Right

How to Cite

Macbeth’s Demonic Right Monarchy. (2024). The Political Science Reviewer, 48(1), 146-179.


Upon the English coronation of King James VI and I, Shakespeare’s company was named The King’s Men. Soon after this promotion, Shakespeare completed and staged Macbeth, a play portraying James’s family’s ancestral struggle for the throne of Scotland. In this play (ostensibly written as gift to the king) Shakespeare includes a veiled critique of James’s teachings in The Trew Law of Free Monarchies on the divine right of kings. Shakespeare employs the Weird Sisters as a twisted parody of the Holy Trinity, legitimizing Macbeth’s rule through direct revelations. Although Shakespeare treats divine right elsewhere (notably his history plays), this analysis proves his most pointed, self-contained, and concise. Seen in this greater context, Macbeth emerges as a forceful political play, both in theoretical content and practical intent. These factors mutually reinforce each other, lending increased emphasis to every political teaching in the play.