Macbeth has many named characters as well as a number of attendants, messengers, soldiers and servants. Below is a list of the main characters with a description.
Macbeth – a General in the army of King Duncan. Easily tempted into murder in the pursuit of power by the prophecy of the witches. Originally Thane of Glamis he becomes the Thane of Cawdor, and subsequently King of Scotland.
Lady Macbeth – Macbeth’s ambitious wife, and subsequent Queen of Scotland initially she urges her husband to commit the crimes and seize the crown, however she is driven mad by her conscience.
Banquo – A general in the army of King Duncan and also a friend of Macbeth’s. Banquo also receives a prophecy from the witches that his children will be Kings of Scotland but unlike Macbeth he is noble and chooses not to let it corrupt him. Macbeth has him murdered fearing him a threat and his ghost later haunts Macbeth.
Fleance – Banquo’s son who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. He is still missing at the end of the play but it is assumed that he is still alive and will return to Scotland in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled.
King Duncan – The good King of Scotland
Macduff – Thane of Fife who has reservations about Macbeth becoming King from the start. He leads the uprising against Macbeth to avenge his families deaths and put the rightful King Malcom on the throne.
Three Witches – Three bearded ladies whose mischievous prophecies tempt Macbeth to the dark side.
Malcolm – Duncan’s eldest son who initially flees Scotland with his brother Donalbain after Duncan’s murder only to return with the support of England and Macduff to challenge Macbeth.
Hecate – Queen of the witches
Lady Macduff – Macduff’s wife who is cruelly murdered along with her children on Macbeth’s orders.
Macduff’s son – Son of Macduff who is murdered on Macbeth’s orders.
The Murderers – Several men employed by Macbeth to murder Banquo and Macduff’s family.
Lennox, Ross, Menteith, Caithness and Angus – Noblemen who aid in the battle against Macbeth.
Siward – The Earl of Northumberland and Malcom and Donalbain’s uncle who aids Malcom in defeating Macbeth.
Young Siward – Siward’s son who is murdered by Macbeth.
Porter – Drunken gatekeeper at Macbeth’s castle.
Seyton – Macbeth’s armourer/servant
Captain – in the Scottish army
Lady Macbeth’s doctor
Gentlewoman – attendant to Lady Macbeth
Lord – Opposed to Macbeth
Three Apparitions -armed head, bloody child and crowned child