Macbeth Characters and Background Information for English IV

Duncan Well-liked king who is brutally murdered by Macbeth while staying at Macbeth’s castle
Macbeth Nobleman from Scotland; thane of Glamis who becomes Thane of Cawdor; eventually becomes king to fulfill the witches’ prophesy.
Lady Macbeth Wife of Macbeth who urges her husband to kill King Duncan so that he could be king later loses her courage and begins to sleepwalk because of the stress of the crime; later commits suicide.
Banquo Macbeth’s friend who son’s witches prophesy will eventually be kings of Scotland; later murdered by Macbeth; his ghost haunts Macbeth
Macdulf Enemy of Macbeth who suspects Macbeth of Duncan’s murder; kills Macbeth because he was not born of a woman
Malcolm First son of Duncan and heir of the throne; escapes to England after father’s murder; later leads the revolt against Macbeth
Donalbain Second none of Duncan; escapes to Ireland after his father’s murder
Lennox Urges Macdulf to bring Malcolm back from England as rightful heir to throne
Ross Nobleman who help Malcolm in his attempt to reclaim the throne
Fleance Banquo’s son; escapes murder attempt by Macbeth
Siward Earl of Northumberland who helps Malcolm regain throne
Young Siward Son of Siward who is killed by Macbeth
Lady Macduff Macduff’s wife who is brutally murdered under Macbeth’s orders
Three Murderers Enlisted by Macbeth to kill Banquo and Fleance
Gentlewoman Lady Macbeth’s assistant; observes her strange somnambulatory behavior and enlists the help of the doctor
Hecate protector of witches; concocts the potion that will lead Macbeth to his ruin
Witches the weird sisters who prophesy Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland; also predict Banquo’s sons will be heirs to the throne; help Hecate concoct a potion that will lead Macbeth to his ruin
Three Apparitions: a. Helmeted Head b. Bloody Child c. Crowned Child holding a Tree
**They all warn Macbeth: 1. to beware the Thane of Fife (Macduff)2. fear any man who was NOT born of a woman; 3. remain courageous until Great Birman Wood travels to Dunsinane Hill
Queen Elizabeth Virgin Queen
Black Plague Killed 10% of Londoners
The Globe Shakespeare’s Theater
Box office Where people placed pennies into a box at the entrance
Wooden O Nickname that was given to The Globe
Thames River Where the theater was located
Apron Name given for the type of stage where all spectators could see the scene on all sides
Shakespeare Nicknamed the Bird, actor of playwright
Herculean Pillars Support for the stage, painted to look marble
Black flag Signaled tragedy would be performed
Breeching Age 6-7 boys could where boy clothes
Pit or yard One penny seats in this area
Tiring House Dressing room, held props
Hamnet Shakespeare’s son who died
Henry VIII Fire during the performance that caused the Globe to burn
Red flag Signal performed for history
First Folio 1st published collection of Shakespeare’s work

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