King Duncan is a very naive and gentle king. Although he is gentle and kind he also demands to be obeyed and punishes those who disobey him. As an example we can see how Duncan loses all his trust in the now dead Thane of Cawdor. When King Duncan realizes that he was betrayed by the past Thane of Cawdor, he says, “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face: He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust. ”
This means that Duncan used to trust the Thane of Cawdor with his eyes closed but then Ross reveals to Duncan that the Thane of Cawdor betrayed him by joining hands with Duncan’s enemy, the king of Norway. Ross describes this deed as, “Norway himself, with terrible numbers, assisted by that most disloyal traitor, The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict. ” Due to this betrayal, the Thane of Cawdor is executed, so Duncan chooses Macbeth to receive this title. Duncan chooses Macbeth because he is fearless in battle, especially against the Norwegians when he ploughed through the ranks of soldiers to kill Macdonwald.
King Duncan publicly compliments Macbeth when saying, “O worthiest cousin! The sin of my ingratitude even now was heavy on me: thou art so far before that swiftest wing of recompense is slow to overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved, that the proportion both of thanks and payment Might have been mine! Only I have left to say, more is thy due than more than all can pay. ” He means that he is grateful to Macbeth for playing a major part in the victory that they had had earlier and that he can think of nothing to repay him enough. This shows the respect that Duncan had for Macbeth.
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Duncan thinks that he can trust Macbeth. Duncan also makes Malcolm the Prince of Cumberland. In Act 1 Scene 3, Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches and they predict that Macbeth will become king, “All hail Macbeth that shall be king hereafter. ” Macbeth is happy to hear this prediction and is looking forward to become King of Scotland but he knows that he needs to overcome obstacles which are in his way so he decides to murder the King. Macbeth discusses with Lady Macbeth and she persuades him to kill Duncan and says that she would help him do this cruel deed.
They sneak in Duncan’s room while he is asleep and Macbeth brutally stabs him with a dagger. Lady Macbeth also manages to get the guards drunk and then carefully puts the bloody daggers near them so that it would like they had murdered King Duncan. The theme of deception is very clearly shown in this play when Macbeth betrays King Duncan. King Duncan always complimented him and respected him but still Macbeth kills him. Macbeth is supposed to be a faithful soldier who would give his life for the king but he is now considered as a traitor when deciding to murder him so that he can be the ruler of the kingdom.
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