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Macbeth :: Characters

Macbeth Characters

Duncan is the King of Scotland, an old, gracious, pious and gentle man, who resembles Lady Macbeth’s father in his sleep. 

 
 

Malcolm is Duncan’s eldest son. Almost captured in the battle that rages at the beginning of the play, he is rescued by the captain. 

 
 

Donalbain is Duncan’s second son. After his father’s murder, he suggests to Malcolm that they quickly leave. 

 
 

Macbeth is Thane of Glamis. A superb general, he is a physically powerful man, able in a fight to eviscerate a man with an upward stroke. 

 
 

Banquo is a Scottish Thane, Macbeth’s co-general in the wars. 

 
 

Macduff is the Thane of Fife. Commanded by Duncan to visit him early in the morning at Macbeth’s castle, he discovers the King’s body. 

 
 

Lennox is a young Thane attending on Duncan. 

 
 

Rosse is the Thane who brings Duncan news of the Norwegian invasion and of Cawdor’s complicity in it. 

 
 

Menteth one of the four Thanes who desert Macbeth when Malcolm invades, bringing reinforcements to Malcolm’s army.

 
 

Angus is a Thane who accompanies Ross in bringing Duncan news of the victory over Norway, and later bringing Macbeth the announcement of his accession to the rank of Thane of Cawdor. 

 
 

Cathness is one of the four Thanes who desert Macbeth when Malcolm invades, bringing reinforcements to Malcolm’s army.

 
 

Fleance is Banquo’s son. 

 
 

Siward, the Earl of Northumberland, is a veteran soldier’s of the English king’s and Malcolm’s uncle. 

 
 

Young Siward is Siward’s son. During the battle at Macbeth’s castle, he comes across Macbeth and fights with him, but is killed.

 
 

Seyton is Macbeth’s chief servant when his thanes are abandoning him. 

 
 

Macduff’s son is able to trade witticisms with his mother, and even to best her at times. 

 
 

An English Doctor is involved with gathering sufferers from the Evil to receive the English king’s touch. He informs Malcolm of the king’s presence.

 
 

A Doctor of Physic is called in by Lady Macbeth’s waiting-gentlewoman to witness her mistress’s sleepwalking. 

 
 

A Sergeant in Duncan’s army saved Malcolm from being captured. 

 
 

A Porter at Macbeth’s castle got extremely drunk during the feast for Duncan. 

 
 

An Old Man whose memory stretches back seventy years is disturbed by the unnatural phenomena that accompany Duncan’s murder.

 
 

The First Murderer has some grievances against Macbeth that the latter convinces him were in fact Banquo’s fault. 

 
 

The Second Murderer has some grievances against Macbeth that the latter convinces him were in fact Banquo’s fault. 

 
 

The Third Murderer joins the first two murderers at Macbeth’s command for the ambush to kill Banquo. He knows something of Banquo’s habits.

 
 

Lady Macbeth is a ruthless woman. More openly ambitious than her husband, she does not shy from murder, and pushes Macbeth towards it. 

 
 

Lady Macduff is a realist. Horrified at her abandonment by her husband, she castigates him in his absence for a lack of wisdom and normal human feeling. 

 
 

A Waiting-Gentlewoman of Lady Macbeth’s witnesses her mistress’ sleepwalking and calls in the Doctor to help her. 

 
 

The First Witch seems to be the leader of the trio of witches. 

 
 

The Second Witch speaks of present things, rather than past or future. 

 
 

The Third Witch speaks of future things. Like her sisters, she can command winds.

 
 

The Fourth Witch attends on Hecat and adds some ingredients to the witches’ brew.

 
 

The Fifth Witch attends on Hecat and adds some ingredients to the witches’ brew.

 
 

The Sixth Witch attends on Hecat and adds some ingredients to the witches’ brew.

 
 

Hecat is the queen of witches.

 
 

The First Apparition, in the warlike shape of a head wearing a helmet, warns Macbeth of Macduff.

 
 

The Second Apparition tells Macbeth that he shall not die at the hand of a woman born. 

 
 

The Third Apparition tells Macbeth not to fear defeat until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. 

 
 

A Servant of the Macbeths brings to Lady Macbeth the news of both Duncan and Macbeth’s approach. 

 
 

A Messenger warns Lady Macduff that she should flee, though he refuses to tell her exactly what he fears. He is too scared for his own life to stay with her.

 
 

A Lord attends Macbeth's feast, where he pledges the King. 

 
 

Soldiers of Malcolm’s army cut down Birnam Wood to camouflage themselves as they approach Dunsinane.  They fight and win the day, hailing Malcolm as King of Scotland when Macbeth’s death is confirmed.

 
 

Macbeth’s Messenger is one of his guards, charged with keeping a lookout. He is the first to notice Birnam Wood moving. He may be the same as the Macbeths’ Servant.

 
 
 
 
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