Hm. Could this be the final appearance on stage for Macbeth? Could that be why he's getting a little turn to the audience?
Yes. Oh, come on - the statute of limitation on spoilers is considerably lower than 407 years.
I know my patience would end far sooner than 407 years! :D I'd give it 24 hours tops before I really want to know! :D
Doesn't it turn out that Macbeth was actually dead all along? No wait... the shield is called Rosebud? Er... Macduff is Keyser Söze?
(P.S. Am I the only one who twitches whenever people misquote Macbeth as saying "LEAD on, Macduff"? And because it's become a misquote, they use it in inappropriate contexts.)
I thought it was that Mackers was John Goodman after having had a heart attack all along, but I'm a very conservative lit scholar.
You know, I went googling for information on the real Macbeth. It seems Macduff didn't do the real one in after all:
Myth #10 Macduff kills Macbeth in his castle as revenge for Macbeth killing his wife and children.
Fact It was Malcolm, Duncan’s son, who is credited with killing Macbeth in battle at Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire in August 1057. Malcolm then killed Lulach, Macbeth’s step-son and immediate successor, five months later, before becoming King himself.
I therefore wonder if Shakespeare was a good playwright who was skilled at artfully weaving actual and real historical events into a fictitious play, or if he was a rather inept historian who disguised his inabuility to record history properly under the guise of a good playwright? :D
Oh, there's no end of things that are amiss with the history in Shakespeare's plays, just as there's several places where he's taken artistic license with the adaptations that he did of other plays.
The key then was to produce an entertaining and novel take on a well-known tale. Shakespeare's research was rooted in Hollinshed's "Chronicles," but he hardly felt compelled to accept much of it. He was hardly an historian (and, as a trained historian, I could talk plenty about that sort of thing but it's pointless) but was the most astonishing playright. (And let's not bother with the conspiracy theories about the authorship of the plays.)
Shakespeare had one key thing to do with this play - impress and entertain the new king, James I. So we get a play where the king's ancestors are presented as a noble and goodly crew - and also a play with witches. (Recall that James I was enthralled by witches and wished to see them defeated.)
To have the witches seem capable and threatening enough (i.e., uncanny and supernatural), they need to be able to make predictions that have some effect to them. And just to make things more creepy, make it seem like some inhuman force will defeat Mackers. And if the witches have some insight into your life, wouldn't that make you a bit akin to them in some ways? So have that apply to someone else.
Why not have Malcolm do it? Well, he needs to be a weaker presence at the start of the play. Hell, he doesn't need to be a powerful presence at the end of the play, just regal. Having someone else do the killing of Mackers and then hand off power to Malcolm kind of works as further validation - even the brave warrior-types recognize this new king.
The age of warrior-kings was pretty near to over by this point. And there was always fear for civil war or upheaval, especially after a childless queen has just died and this new guy rides in to take over. So we get a play were a non-warrior king is a good thing, the usurper is a pawn of Satan/Hecate, and order is a good and proper thing. Hell, the English King is presented as a holy healer in Act IV (which I didn't present in scene three).
Long story short - a kingly audience is a stellar audience. Happening to make a play which should prop him up and protect him... well, there's a good thing.