Earlier this month, I was invited to contribute an article for the Scottish History Network’s blog, which was published today. In the post, I provide a brief overview of Malcolm III and of some of my research conclusions so far. Enjoy!
Why do we hold our tongues,
That most may claim this argument for ours?
-Malcolm Canmore, in Macbeth Act 2, Scene III.
The discovery of King Duncan’s murder in Act 2, Scene III of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606) triggered suspicion on his two heirs, Malcolm Canmore and Donalbain. Following Duncan’s death, both princes decided to escape Scotland to avoid retribution for a crime they had not committed. The quote above was Malcolm Canmore’s response to Macbeth’s short but powerful monologue about witnessing the scene of Duncan’s murder. Macbeth’s thunderous seizure of the Scottish throne and tyrannical rule deprived Malcolm Canmore of political agency, rendering him silent for most of the play. Like his literary counterpart, King Malcolm III Canmore (r. 1058-93) has held his tongue for far too long.
The historical Malcolm III successfully reigned Scotland for over thirty years during the second half of the eleventh century. His reign…
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