Macbeth Character Chart

Macbeth chief motives/traits Courage, ambition
Macbeth role in the play Great man elevated beyond his abilities
Macbeth quote “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition…”(1, vii)
Macbeth at the beginning of the play Valiant general and Thane. Ambition tempered by scruples. ‘Rapt’ with Witches’ prophesy.
Macbeth at the end of the play Tyrannous King. Killed by Macduff.
Lady macbeth partner of Macbeth. Courage, ambition without morality.
Lady macbeth “Dearest partner of greatness”: Confidant and goad of Macbeth.
Lady macbeth “yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full of the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way”(1, v)
Lady macbeth Strong, amoral, overcomes Macbeth’s scruples. Hatches plan to kill Duncan.
Lady macbeth Driven mad by remorse, kills herself.
Duncan Virtuous, wise King
Duncan Victim: represents overthrow of natural order.
Duncan Macbeth speaking of D: “this Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his high office”(1, vii)
Duncan Places ‘absolute trust’ in Macbeth, and promotes him.
Duncan Murdered early in play by Macbeth.
Banquo and thaneAmbition and bravery tempered by caution.
Banquo Serves as foil to Macbeth’s ambition
Banquo “That, trusted home, might yet enkindle you unto the crown…”(1,iii)
Banquo Takes a more sceptical attitude to witches.
Banquo Murdered by Macbeth’s minions halfway through play.
Macduff Valour and shrewdness
Macduff Macbeth’s nemesis
Macduff “Despair thy charm …, Macduff was from his mother’s womb untimely ripp’d”(5,vii)
Macduff Appears after Duncan’s murder. Immediately suspicious of Macbeth.
Macduff Kills Macbeth
Ross No real character
Ross ‘Messenger’: Shows how play is turning
Ross “Alas, poor country; almost afraid to know itself”(4,iii)
Ross Brings news of Macbeth’s promotion
Ross Goes over to Malcolm’s side.
Malcolm Goes over to Malcolm’s side.
Malcolm Retrieves rightful title: restores natural order.
Malcolm “Macbeth is ripe for shaking, and the powers above put on their instruments”(4,iii)
Malcolm Named as Duncan’s heir. Flees to England after murder.
Malcolm at the end of the play Crowned King of Scotland
The Witches chief motives/traits Evildoers: Out to cause trouble
The Witches role in the play Play on Macbeth’s delusion
The Witches quote “By the pricking of my thumbs: Something wicked this way comes”(4,i)
The Witches at the beginning of the play Conspire to waylay Macbeth.
The Witches at the end of the play Delude Macbeth: Pave his descent into Hell