Macbeth

Macbeth Macbeth is a Scottish soldier and the thane of Glamis until the witches predict that he will be named thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not heroic. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne, and once he commits his first crime and is crowned King of Scotland, he keeps killing with greater and greater ease. While he becomes King, his skills on the battlefield are much better than on the throne. He has trouble ruling without being an evil tyrant and dictator. He responds to every problem and possible threat with violence and murder. He has trouble facing the psychological consequences of his murders, and lets this guilt take the better of him. Also controlled by his wife, Lady Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth Wife of Macbeth. She originally orders Macbeth to do the gruesome things he wouldn’t have been able to do without her, including killing MAcbeth. She thinks that Macbeth is way too soft, and does not possess what it takes to be a murderer and to be King. She lets people think that she is nothing more than a powerless woman, when in fact it is her that really plots the murder of Duncan. She is good at putting up this courtly front and making herself look very feminine. It is possible that she and Macbeth had a kid (places in the play that point to this) but we are unsure. She shows no emotion throughout the play, except when she says something along the lines of, “had he [Duncan] not looked so much like my father while he slept, I would have killed him”
King Duncan King of Scotland. He has trouble reading people correctly, failing to predict the rebellious sides of general (Macdonwald, mentioned in Act 1 Scene 2), Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth.
Macduff Is the Lord who first finds Duncan’s body, then after his family has been murdered on the orders of Macbeth, takes his revenge at the end of the book by, along with Malcolm, getting the support of an English army and leading it against Macbeth. He is the exemption to “no man born of woman”, as his mother had a Caesarian section, and fulfills the prophecy “until Birnam wood comes to Dunsinane” by Macolm’s orders, his army carries branches from Birnam wood as a disguise while climbing the hill to Macbeth’s castle.
Donalbain He is the younger son of King Duncan and brother to Malcolm, the heir to the throne. Donalbain flees Scotland after the murder of his father for refuge in Ireland.
Malcolm After the death of Duncan, he flees to England and eventually garners the support of the English king. He helps lead an army of them to kill Macbeth and become king himself.
Fleance Fleance is the son of Banquo who flees the scene as Macbeth’s hired assassins are killing his father. According to the three witches, he will be king someday.
Banquo Best friend of Macbeth (at least at the beginning of the play). The three witches tell him and Macbeth that while Macbeth will be greater than Banquo in almost all aspects, Banquo’s son will eventually become king.
Lady Macduff Wife of Macduff. Always accusing her husband of not being strong and a hero. Macbeth kills her and her son.
The Witches (We├»rd Sisters) 3 witches. Have prophecy powers. They tell Macbeth his fates. First at the beginning of the play they tell him that he will become Thane of Cawdor and King. (They also say that Banquo’s offspring will rule). But later on in the play they also tell Macbeth his fate (that he will die).
Captain A captain in King Duncan’s army who appears in the second scene of the play. He has many wounds on him, and Duncan values these and calls him a hero. This shows societal values as well as what makes someone a hero in this society that values sacrifice and war. The Captain is the person who tells King Duncan of Macbeth’s successes on the battlefield in defeating the enemy.
Macduff’s Son Only appears in one scene, in which he demonstrates his wit while talking to his mother and then get’s killed. By Macbeth’s soldiers.
Macdonwald Enemy of Duncan’s army who Macbeth defeats. “The merciless Macdonwald (Worthy to be a rebel, for to that The multiplying villainies of nature Do swarm upon him).p9
Seyton attendant to Macbeth. He is the person who tells Macbeth of Lady Macbeth’s suicide and death.
Siward commander of the English forces who are determined to overthrow Macbeth’s rule.
Lennox Scottish noble.
Young Siward Siward’s son. He is killed, but Siward is humbled and happy about his death, because he is stabbed in the front and not the back, which shows he was not a coward. This shows what society values and additionally what makes someone a hero in this warlike society.
Scotland The country in which the play is set. Duncan is the king of Scotland. Macbeth becomes the king of Scotland. Scotland is not yet connected to England in the United Kingdom by this time.
Birnam Wood The witches prophesize that Macbeth will be vanquished (defeated) only when Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. When the English troops are descending on Macbeth, we see that they cut down boughs from Birnam Wood in order to disguise their number.
Blood Blood haunts Lady Macbeth, and makes her think about her sins. She tries to wash off Duncan’s blood from his hands, yet it does not come off. While the blood he sees on his hands is psychological, which shows the extremity of her guilt guilt from killing Duncan, his inability to get rid of it shows that he cannot get rid of his guilt, no matter how hard he tries.
Fife Is the home of Macduff
Ireland Where Donalbain flees once his father is killed.
Banquo’s Ghost Banquo’s ghost comes back to haunt Macbeth at royal banquet. The ghost shows that Macbeth is struggling to deal with his murders, and that his guilty conscious is getting the better of him. His guilt is so extreme that it is messing with his head, and making him picture his murdered friend. Similar to his inability to wash the blood off of his hands.
Arabia Lady Macbeth mentions Arabia as the empire of perfume.
England Where Malcolm flees. He as well as Macduff get the help of an English army, run by Siward, to defeat Macbeth.
Child Crowned with a tree in his hand Third Apparition – tells Macbeth that he will only be vanquished (defeated) when the Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane
Armed Head First Apparition – tells Macbeth his prophecy for the second time. This witch tells him to beware Macduff.
Inverness Macbeth’s original home/castle. This is the castle in which he kills Duncan.
Dunsinane Hill Is a hill on which Macbeth has a castle in which he awaits Duncan’s army.
Bloody Child Second Apparition – tells Macbeth that Macbeth something/someone not woman born will harm him.

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