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Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in Inverness Castle in Scotland, with his wife, Lady Macbeth.

Profession… a warrior, until recently. But he has just been granted the rank of Thane of Cawdor, making him a member of the nobility. Macbeth is flattered, but not too surprised by the promotion, since it was predicted by three witches he met while wandering the heath with his friend, Banquo.

Interests… fighting and social climbing. Macbeth is ambitious and wants to grow more successful. Still, his real area of comfort is on the battlefield, where he can be free of doubts and uncertainties.

Relationship Status… married to Lady Macbeth. She’s a strong woman – perhaps too strong for his taste, as her ambition means she pushes Macbeth to do things he doesn’t really want to do. He does admire her bold spirit, though, saying, “Bring forth men-children only;/ For thy undaunted mettle should compose/Nothing but males.”

Challenge… avoiding the bad and attaining the good parts of the witches’ prophecy. They prophesied that he would be Thane, and even King of Scotland one day. But they also said that Banquo’s sons would be king, which makes Macbeth worry for his own line. It’s not easy to maintain your sanity in these uncertain times, and the Thane is starting to crack: “‘Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!/ Macbeth does murder sleep,’ the innocent sleep…”

Personality… brave and ambitious but full of doubt. Macbeth wants great things, especially now that the witches have told him they’re attainable, but he's frightened of what he must do to get them. His desires and his conscience are constantly at war, and while he struggles to reconcile them, Macbeth usually just follows his far more cunning wife.


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