Friday, August 16, 2002

• History&Today: On the 945th anniversary of Macbeth's death, it's worth revisiting a defense of the real-life namesake of Shakespeare's play, says G&M

"The real Macbeth, it seems, was Lord of Moray in the 11th century and was, by the standards of the time, a decent and an honourable man," wrote Brendan McWilliam in The Irish Times in 1995. "He legitimately succeeded Duncan I as king of Scotland -- not by stabbing the latter as he slept, but after killing him in battle in a fair fight. Moreover, Macbeth's 17-year reign was genial and a prosperous time for Scotland and came to an end . . . when Duncan's son Malcolm assassinated poor Macbeth at Dunsinane near Perth."

Who knew?

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