The Professional Theatre at Southern Utah University

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Characters: Macbeth

Characters: Macbeth

Duncan, king of Scotland: The father of Malcolm and Donalbain, Duncan was a good king under whom the kingdom apparently flourished; however, his life was cut short by the murderous Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Malcolm: The eldest son of King Duncan and brother of Donalbain, Malcolm is named heir to the throne by his father (a definite stumbling block for Macbeth’s new-found ambitions). Thinking his life in danger, he flees Scotland after his father’s murder, placing suspicion initially upon himself, rather than Macbeth.

Donalbain: The son of King Duncan and brother of Malcolm, Donalbain flees with his brother after the murder.

Macbeth: The husband of Lady Macbeth, a general in the army, and later the king of Scotland, Macbeth is courageous and respected. He holds the title of thane of Glamis before the play begins and is named thane of Cawdor for his valor on the battlefield. However, he is also ambitious and becomes murderous when he sees his way (helped by his wife) to fulfill the witches’ prophecies and become king.

Banquo: The father of Fleance and a faithful general in the Scottish army, Banquo initially is a good friend of Macbeth, but becomes an object of Macbeth’s wrath when it appears he or his children could interfere with Macbeth’s tenuous grasp on the throne. He is murdered by command of Macbeth because the witches prophesy his children will be kings.

Macduff: A Scottish nobleman, Macduff becomes increasingly suspicious of Macbeth, eventually mounting an uprising against the new king. In the end, it is Macduff that kills Macbeth in battle.

Lennox: A Scottish nobleman

Ross: A Scottish nobleman faithful to Duncan and Macduff, Ross is the first to address Macbeth by his new title, thane of Cawdor, fanning the spark of ambition that quickly turns murderous.

Menteith: A Scottish nobleman.

Angus: A Scottish nobleman.

Caithness: A Scottish nobleman.

Fleance: Son of Banquo, Fleance escapes Macbeth’s murderous rampage and flees to England where he helps Macduff mount the insurrection that unthrones Macbeth.

Siwald, earl of Northumberland: General of the English forces, Siwald teams up with Malcolm, Macduff, and Fleance in their fight against Macbeth.

Young Siwald: The son of Siwald.

Seyton: An officer attending on Macbeth

Lady Macbeth: In contrast to her husband who initially resists his murderous impulses, Lady Macbeth seems to embrace them immediately, calling upon evil to fill her “from the crown to the toe, top-full / Of direst cruelty!” However, guilt and remorse eventually emotionally unhinge her and she dies, probably by her own hand.

Lady Macduff: The wife of Macduff, she and all her children are killed by the now-ruthless Macbeth.

Three Witches: Referred to as the “weird sisters,” witches, and sometimes old hags, these three mysterious beings plant the seeds of murder and ambition in Macbeth, when they prophesy that he will become king. Some critics claim that they represent fate and that they truly prophecy, leaving Macbeth no choice in his actions. Others say that they are simply a catalyst for the brutality to come.