Macbeth Theme: Loyalty

‘for brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name’ (Act 1, Scene 2, Captain) At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a warrior for his country and fights in the name of the King, he is who another soldier would aspire to be, audience have a sense of DRAMATIC IRONY as they know things are going to change- it’s a tragic play!
‘like Valour’s minion’ (Act 1, Scene 2, Captain) he does the work of Valour, honour, SIMILE, PERSONIFICATION of an idealic warrior
‘what he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won’ (Act 1, Scene 2, Duncan) Duncan trusts Macbeth and sees him as being loyal and noble, so the death of Duncan EMPHASISES how Macbeth’s ambition has gotten in the way of his ambition
‘the service and the loyalty I owe’ (Act 1, Scene 4, Macbeth) Macbeth is telling Duncan it is his duty! Brings a sense of loyalty but also perhaps disloyalty because Macbeth is in collaboration with witches who are persuading him to commit regicide CONTEXT: regicide was the biggest crime in Jacobean times, shows that Macbeth is truly disloyal and dishonourable
‘had I but died an hour before this chance, I had liv’d a blessed time, for from this instant, there’s nothing serious in mortality’ (Act 2, Scene 3, Macbeth) Is he faking his loyalty towards Duncan (seen as he just killed him) or did he really feel loyal to him? There is a sense of truth here because he did feel loyal to his King and this is perhaps where we begin to see he regrets his decision- EMPATHY for the audience
Banquo came to the banquet even though he is dead (in ghost form) True loyalty in comparison to Macbeth, audience EMPATHISES because he didn’t deserve to die
Macduff is only going to kill Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 7) Macduff is not letting revenge get the better of him as Macbeth was doing, but stays loyal to what Malcom (the future King) says- a sense that the play has a CYCLICAL NATURE, gone full circle, as the idea of loyalty has been brought back in
‘hail King of Scotland’ (Act 5, Scene 9) Said to Malcom. CYCLICAL NATURE. Is this the beginning of loyalty or the continuation of disloyalty? Audience is left in a state of AMBIGUITY

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