'Macbeth' - Character Guide

MACBETH

A highly respected and brave Scottish soldier. He succumbs to ambition and darker thoughts after hearing of the Witches' prophecies. He becomes King of Scotland after murdering Duncan, and works to secure his position by killing those who may challenge him. He is a tyrant and is ultimately defeated by those who rebel against him.

LADY MACBETH

Macbeth's wife. Lady Macbeth is incredibly ambitious and manipulative. She convinces Macbeth to go through with Duncan's murder by using bullying and blackmailing tactics. However, after the the act she becomes overwhelmed by her guilt, and she slowly loses her sanity.

THE THREE WITCHES/WEIRD SISTERS

Three mysterious characters whose prophecies drive the narrative. Macbeth becomes obsessed with these prophecies, leading to him becoming overly ambitious and ruthless in his quest to obtain what the Witches claimed was his.

KING DUNCAN

Duncan is the King of Scotland at the beginning of the play. He is a good king, and he is well-respected. Once Macbeth learns of the Witches' prophecies, he takes steps to have Duncan killed so that he can take his place as monarch.

BANQUO

A brave, noble soldier. His children are mentioned in the Witches' prophecies, which ultimately leads to Macbeth trying to have them killed. Whilst this attempt fails to murder his children, Banquo is killed. However, Banquo's ghost returns to haunt Macbeth - the physical manifestation of Macbeth's guilt.

MALCOLM

The son of Duncan. Malcolm flees from Scotland after his father's murder, but returns to reclaim the throne from Macbeth in the final act.

FLEANCE

Banquo's son. Fleance survives the assassination attempt which kills his father, and he goes into hiding.