Macbeth Characters and History

Duncan king of Scotland, good and honest, politically naive
Macbeth one of Duncan’s most courageous generals, thane of Glamis, driven by desire to be king
Lady Macbeth ambitious as her husband, questions Macbeth’s courage to push him to kill Duncan, goes mad (Gruoch)
Banquo commander in Duncan’s army, Macbeth’s closest friend,
MacDuff Scottish noble and general, serves in Duncan’s army, suspects Macbeth in Duncan’s murder
Malcolm Duncan’s oldest son, named to throne, Malcolm flees to England when father is murdered
Donalbain Duncan’s youngest son, flees to Ireland when father is murdered
Lennox Duncan’s noble; observer, sarcastic, accompanies MacBeth to see Duncan’s murder
Ross cousin of Macduff, Scottish noble, messenger, tells Macduff of Macbeth’s military victory and bad news of family, scared for future of Scotland
Old Siward Earl of Northumberland, ally to Malcolm and Macduff, commander of the English forces
Young Siward slain by Macbeth in hand to hand combat, Siward’s son
Hecate queen of the witches, presides over all noctural horror, directs supernatural happenings
Apparitions an Armed Head, a Bloody Child, a Crowned Child, and eight nonspeaking kings
Sinel Macbeth’s father
First Witch Gremalkin (cat)
Second Witch Paddock (toad)
Stone of Scone coronation rock-part of tradition in crowning the king
Crime of Edward I taking Stone of Scone and moving it to Westminster Abbey-took it so none could follow
Chivalry Code/Reasons why Killing Duncan Was Bad 1. Kings were chosen by God, to kill the king was sacreligious2. Break doctrine of hospitality (Duncan was a guest in Macbeth’s home)3. Duncan was virtuous king–no justification for killing him4. Macbeth and Duncan were cousins5. Macbeth was Duncan’s subject–subjects were responsible for being loyal to their king and loving their king
Anachronisms in Macbeth -Thane of Ross & Thane of Argus (not known at the time) :Ross was under Viking control-first Earl of Ross was not appointed until a century after Duncan lived-cannon: were not used at the time, came in later
Stars/Astrology very important, fate
Four Humors 1.melancholy2.phlegm3.blood4.choler(used in different balances)

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