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Biography for
Duncan (Character)
from Macbeth (1971)

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Duncan I of Alba (Scotland) succeeded his grandfather, Malcolm II in 1034. Contrary to previously held views, Duncan does seem to have been a sort of king-in-waiting during Malcolm's reign, in keeping with the Gaelic custom of tanistry.

Unlike Shakespeare's depiction of an aged king, the contemporary sources remark on Duncan's youth, even when he died in 1040. He was apparently killed by MacBeth, who was a lesser king, subject to Duncan, and it is also commonly held that MacBeth was a grandson of Malcolm II, on his mother's side, making Duncan and MacBeth first cousins.

Following Duncan's death his widow and their young children were forced to flee into exile, although it is unknown to where they fled (possibly Northumbria or Orkney). Seventeen years later (in 1057), Duncan's son Malcolm returned and avenged his father's death and reclaimed the throne as Malcolm III.

Page last updated by matthewdillenburg, 6 years ago
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