Last Updated 10 Oct 2020

Loyalty and Disloyalty in the Play

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LOYALTY In the play as the audience we witness loyalty in two different ways. It can be referred as loyalty and disloyalty, but I want to emphasize on loyalty in the concepts of one which the loyalty that audience seeks in a character as a true man and the other one is which the loyalty that the character shows to themselves. In the play we see the loyalty of Macbeth to himself where he murders King Duncan in order to take the crown. This proves his loyalty to his own ambitions and desires. Also murder of Banquo is another example where it is seen that Macbeth murders a loyal friend in order to protect his crown. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none” (Shakespeare 103)This prophecy from the witches trigger his protection system for upcoming events when he becomes the king and he fears that all the prophecies will come true. As a result he murders Banquo. Concept of loyalty is referred many times in the play. At the beginning the audience witnesses the disloyalty of the Thane of Cawdor and his punishment . This example shows the different understanding of loyalty once more. Thane o Cawdor was a loyal man to Norway, yet because of his position in Scotland he is accepted as disloyal.

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In the play the most loyal character is referred as Macduff. Loyalty of Macduff is questioned by Malcom. ”It is myself I mean-in whom I know all the particulars of vice so grafted, that when they shall be opened, black Macbeth will seem as pure as snow…” (Shakespeare 184)In his speech Malcom refers himself as a king worse than Macbeth. He tries to resolve Macduff’s aim in coming to England. Malcom reviles himself to see the reaction of Macduff in order to learn about his intentions. Meaning if he is a loyal man to his country or not. These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself hath banished me from Scotland. O my breast, thy hope ends here. ” (Shakespeare 187)After this speech Malcom and also the audience trusts his loyalty because he talks about his beloved country and his lost hopes when he learns the truth about Malcom. This concept of loyalty is what explained as the expectation of the audience from a true man. As a result in the play loyalty is a trait given to a character when they are loyal to the audience’s expectations and also to themselves. Shakespeare, William, Macbeth. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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Loyalty and Disloyalty in the Play. (2017, Jan 16). Retrieved from

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