Macbeth Character Profiles

  • Created by: IzzyHippo
  • Created on: 18-06-20 12:30


Macbeth is ambitious but easily led astray

He is influenced by others which could show he is week. He fights bravely and shows he is ambitious but will do anything to get to where he wants to be (For example commit murder)

He is a brave hero

At the start of the play he is described as a 'Valiant Warrior'. He keeps fighting in his last battle even though he knows he is doomed. He says he 'Will Not Yeild'

He strugles with his conscience

His guilty conscience makes Macbeth see ghosts or illusions of the people he has killed or ordered to kill. (For example Banquos ghost or flowting daggers)

He is easily influenced

Lady Macbeth greatly influences Macbeth - He wouln't have killed Duncan if it wasnt for her. Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth a coward and unmanly inorder to persuade him to kill King Duncan.

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Lady Macbeth

She is cruel and ruthless

Lady Macbeth influences Macbeth to commit crimes inorder to make her (and macbeth) more powerful and persuades Macbeth that killing The king (Duncan) is the best thing to do. This shows she is very ruthless, more than her husband.

She goes mad with guilt and kills herself

Lady Macbeth is driven mad by guilt, she starts sleepwalking with the events playing over in he head it has affected her ability to sleep soundly. This mess's with her so much that she cant live with what she has done 

Lady Macbeth is used to explore gender and power

Women are usually seen as kind and weeker and Lady Macbethshows this is not always true. She says she would 'kill her own baby' if she'd sworn to it. Lady Macbeth is manipulative and violent, she does have a soft side in the fact that she could not kill Duncan herself as he reminded her of her father.

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King Duncan

Duncan is kind, but to trusting

He is a kind and generous man who rewards loyalty - he hands out honours to Macbeth and Malcolm. Duncans flaw is that he is too trusting, he trusts Macbeth and doesnt suspect that Macbeth plot to kill him.

He is an example of a good king

Shakespeare presents Duncan as a model king - He is kind honest and fair. Macbeth call duncan a 'good leader'. King were thought to be chosen by God. Duncan put others needs ahead of his own. 

Duncan isnt like other men

Duncan isnt a soldier like Macbeth and Macduff - He is gentil and less aggressive. He doesnt fight himself but sensibly sends his best soldiers to fight for him. He is not afraid to show emotion.

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Malcolm and Donalbain

They learn from their fathers mistakes

Malcolm is fair and honest like his father. Howerver, Malcolm and Donalbain are aware that they are in danger from those closest to them. They have the common scence to flee after Duncan is killed. Malcolm goes to England ans Donalbain goes to Ireland.

Malcolm and Donaldbain aren't impulsive

They didnt react to their fathers death immediatly. Malcolm says that their sorrow is too 'strong' to act on it straight away. It shows they are sensible and unwilling to act without waiting for the right time.

Malcolm develops in to a good leader

Malcolm becomes a confident leader. He earns the trust of the Scottish thanes. They will follow malcolm because he is the rightful king. Malcolm returns to scotland with an army. He proves that he's clever by disguising the soldiers with branches and leads the army to victory. Shows he is a strong leader and rewards people like duncan did.

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Banquo is more honourable than macbeth

Banquo is a thane, like Macbeth. He is there when the witches make their first prophecies. He is praised for his courage in battle. Banquo has wisdom which suggests that he thinks before he acts and does what is right. Banquo is ambitious and honourable.

Banquo doesn't trust the witches

Banquo behaves rationally when he meets the witches and questions whether they are real. He still is intriged to hear what they have to say, and admits to having dreamt about the withches. Which suggests he still is thinking about the predictions.

He doesn't act to protect himself

Banquo suspects that Macbeth murdered Duncan. However does not act on his suspicions and instead reminds himself he is 'the father of many kings' Macbeth sees Banquo as a threat and Macbeth orders killers to kill Banquo. Banquo did not suspect that Macbeth was out to kill him.

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The Macduffs

Macduff is honest and sincere

Macduff is a nobleman. He's honestand has integrity and when he discovers Duncans murder and is horrified by it.Macduff does not go to Macbeths coronation, this suggests that he is suspicious of Macbeth. Macduff has a strong sence of loyalty and love for his country. Macduff is brave and fights and kills Macbeth freeing scotland.

Put his countey before his family

Macduff makes a mistake by going to england, leaving his family and children unprotected. When he finds out Macbeth has killed his family he is overcome with grief. Feels his family would haunt him untill he kills Macbeth.

Lady Macduff cant understand her husbands actions 

When Macduff goes to England Lady Macduff says that he lacks 'the natural touch' - she thinks his actions show a lack of fatherly love. Lady Macbeth shows courage as she comfronts her son calling him 'poor bird'. Her love and affection for him are clear. 

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The Witches

Witches have supernatural powers

The witches are known as the weird sisters. They look like ungly women with beards, which suggests straight away that they're unnatural and evil. The witches can see the future - all their predictions cone true eventually. They speek in short rhyming sentences, this sets them apart from other characters. Banquoi isnt sure whether the witches are real or imaginary, he is suspicious that their appearance is misleading.

They're evil, but they dont tell Macbeth to murder Duncan

The witches are usually accompanied by thunder and lightning, this makes the atmosphere dark and frightning. They make prophesies but never explain how'll they'll happen, this shows they take advantage of Macbeth weakness and want to control his actions. The witches dont tell Macbeth to kill duncan but they do say that he will become king which pushes Macbeth to kill Duncan. The witches confuse Macbeth by using paradoxes. Hecate is the godess of the witchcraft. she is angry at macbeths behaviour and punishes him and using the predictions to give Macbeth a false sense of security which lead to his death and down fall.

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Other Characters

There are some other Noblemen

Lennox, Rosse, Menteith, Angus and Caithness are all thanes - scottish noblemen. None very significant charaters and are there to move the story along and show how power shifts in the play. They however do suspect Macbeth for the murder of Duncan. The thanes say the will be loyal to whoever deserves it. They gradually start to question whether Macbeth is the rightful king. By the end of the play they side with Malcolm and help him defeat Macbeth.

.....And a few more minor characters

The Porter who appears in act 2. He is a comic character he talks about his drunk behaviour the night before. He provides a bit of light relief in between the darker more tragic parts of the plot. The 3 murderers appear in act 3. Macbeth hierd them to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Banquo is killed but Fleance escapes. They also kill Lady Macduff and her children on Macbeths order - This shows how desperate and cruel he is. Siwrad is an english lord. He is a great fighter and helps malcolm defeat Macbeth. There are some very minor characters such as the doctor and the gentlewomen who are with Lady macbeth when she goes mad. Again only smal parts but they move the plot along and develop the themes of the play.

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