List of Main Characters
Macbeth, Thane (Lord) of Glamis
He is a heroic captain in King Duncan’s army at the
start of the play.
He is awarded the title Thane of Cawdor due to his exploits on the battlefield. He becomes King of Scotland by murdering Duncan, but he is unwittingly a tool of fate, and succumbs to temptation goaded by his wife. He travels the road from Scotland’s hero to its despot, and eventually is killed by one of the Thanes he greatly wronged, Macduff.
She drives her husband to undertake evil acts of murder
so that he can become King and maintain that position. However, she creates a monster in her husband, who is cruel to her and this, together with the guilt she feels sends her into madness and suicide.
He is a much respected and popular King of Scotland who
conducted a successful war against the Norwegian army.
Macbeth, being the cousin of Duncan, hoped that he might succeed to the throne, but Duncan named his son Malcolm as heir, and this helped provoke Macbeth to murder him.
Banquo is also a heroic captain in Duncan’s army and
companion of Macbeth.
The witches tell him that his children will one day succeed to the throne of Scotland. This fateful disclosure is sufficient for Macbeth to arrange his murder. This was, perhaps, the most difficult decision for Macbeth to take, and Banquo’s ghost subsequently haunts him.
Fleance, Banquo’s son
Macbeth too should have murdered him, but he managed to
escape. He would be the father to a line of Kings.
A loyal Thane of Scotland, who when he discovers the
truth about King Duncan’s murder, shifts his allegiance from Macbeth to Duncan’s son, Malcolm.
He pays the price for this, and Macbeth has his wife and children slaughtered. Macduff becomes the avenging hero of the play.
Malcolm and Donalbain
These are King Duncan’s two sons who flee from Scotland
and Malcolm eventually raises an army with the help of the English King, and overthrows the tyrannical Macbeth.
These three evil sisters are agents of fate (Hecate) and they provide glimpses into
the future for both Macbeth and Banquo, all of which come to fruition.