The reoccurring theme of kingship in Macbeth is a dominant theme presented in the play. In medieval society, the natural order of succession, honor to the king, and rightful ownership of the throne is prominent; all of which is overthrown and against all odds in this play. The kingships of Duncan, Macbeth, and Malcolm were interrelated due to the fact that they all had the rule over Scotland, while Macbeth and Malcolm's throne were succeeded by Macbeth's tyranny.
Duncan is a very victorious king during his time. At the beginning of the play, he defeats the Norwegians and becomes very powerful. He is also very popular and respected by the people of Scotland. In return, he is dedicated to the Scots and trusts all those who are close to him; especially Macbeth. Duncan honors Macbeth with the title, Thane of Cawdor, after Macbeth defeated the original thane. Then, to the private astonishment of Macbeth, Duncan announces that his successor to king would be his son Malcolm. This provokes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to slain Duncan while he is a guest at Macbeth's castle, the Iverness.
Macbeth on the other hand, is not so much a king but more of a tyrant. Lady Macbeth makes Macbeth believe that the solution to his happiness is to kill off the king, Duncan, and then he will be king and everything will be alright. Once he finally kills Duncan, after much debating, he feels he has to keep killing to cover all his lies and to cure his happiness. This makes him become greedy and takes things way too far. He then loses all respect and loyalty of all his subjects because they all question his authority and they see him as a shady person. This all brings about his own demise because all his wrongful actions lead to Macduff and others turning against him and fighting him to throw him off the throne. Macbeth's kingship lacks loyalty, righteousness, and courtesy as a king due to his distractions, lies, and wrongful actions.