• ILLEGITIMACY IN THE HIGHEST ORDERS OF THE KINGDOM: THE MACBETH NARRATIVE IN ANDREW OF WYNTOUN’S ORYGYNALE CRONIKYL

    Author(s):
    Marian Toledo Candelaria (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Subject(s):
    Scotland, History, Books, Manuscripts
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Scottish history, Medieval studies, Late medieval literature, Book history, Manuscript studies
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/9j22-yq58
    Abstract:
    This article examines the portrayal of Macbeth and Malcolm Canmore as illegitimately born men in Andrew of Wyntoun’s Orygynale Cronikyl. Portraying two kings of Scots as illegitimate sons was an unusual choice and was one that had textual and narrative implications. Wyntoun increased the role and political agency of Macduff of Fife in the narrative to create an eleventh-century precedent that explained the political career of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany and Earl of Fife and Menteith, as a regent for three Scottish kings. In order to make sense of Macbeth and Malcolm’s portrayals, it is crucial to differentiate between different types of illegitimacy in early fifteenth-century Scotland, as well as identify how each type of illegitimacy impacted issues of good kingship and magnate-noble relations in the text. Although illegitimacy did not outright prevent Malcolm and Macbeth from becoming kings, it did explain Macbeth’s descent into tyranny and Malcolm Canmore’s political impotence. In both cases, the intervention of Macduff of Fife as a kingmaking figure and as representative of the community of the realm of Scotland guaranteed the proper functioning of governance in a manner similar to how Albany served as regent in Scotland at the time.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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