Macbeth Characters and Key Facts

Macbeth a Scottish general and the Thane of Glamis who is led wicked thoughts by prophecies of the three witches. especially after their prophecy what he will be made Thane of Cowdor comes true. He is a brave soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous one. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne. And once he commits his first crime and is crowned Kind of Scotland, he embarks on further atrocities with increasing east
Lady Macbeth Macbeth’s Wife. a deeply ambitious women who lusts for power and position. Early in the play she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill Duncan and spice the crown
The Three Witches Three “black ad midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality
Banquo the brave, noble general whose children, according to the witches’ prophecy will inherit the Scottish throne. Like Macbeth, He thinks ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action
King Duncan The good King of Scotland whom Macbeth, in his ambition for the crown, murders. He is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler. His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when Duncan’s line, in the person of Malcolm, once more occupies the throne
Macduff A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeth’s kingship from the start. He eventually becomes a leader of the crusade to unseat Macbeth. The crusade’s mission is to place the rightful king, Malcolm on the throne, but Macduff also desires vengeance for Macbeth’s murder of Macduff’s wife and young son.
Malcolm The son of Duncan, the restoration to the throne signs Scotland’s return to order following Macbeth’s region of terror. He becomes a serious challenge to Macbeth with Macduff’s aid. Prior to this, he appears weak and uncertain of his own power, as when he and Donalbain flee Scotland after their father’s murder
Hecate The goddess of witchcraft, who helps the three witches work their mischief on Macbeth
Fleance Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. At the end of the play, Fleance’s whereabouts are unknown. Presumably, he may come to rule Scotland, fulfilling the witches; prophecy that Banquo’s son will sit on the Scottish throne
Lennox and Ross a Scottish nobleman
The Murderers a group of ruffians conscripted by Macbeth to murder Banquo, Fleance (who they fail to kill) and Macduff’s wife and children
Porter the drunken doorman of Macbeth’s castle
Lady Macduff Macduff’s wife. The scene in her castle provides our only glimpse of a domestic realm other than that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She and her home serve as contrast to Lady Macbeth and the hellish world of Inverness
Donalbain Duncan’s son and Malcolm’s younger brother
Author William Shakespeare
Type of work Play
genre Tragedy
Date of first publication First folio edition 1623
Publisher John Heminges and Henry Condell, two senior members of Shakespeare’s theatrical company
Tone Dark and ominous, suggestive of a world turned topsy-turvy by foul and unnatural crimes
Setting (time) the Middle ages. specifically the eleventh century
Setting (place) various locations in Scotland, also England, briefly
Protagonist Macbeth

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