Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank


Character & Motivation

Duncan headshot



My Motto(s)
  • his virtues / Will plead like angels (1.7.18-9)
Also Called
  • Great King (1.2.49)
  • Your Highness (1.4.23)
  • The royal father (4.3.108)
  • a most sainted King (4.3.109)
  • King of Scotland (1.2.28)
My Quotes:

There’s no art To find the mind’s construction in the face (1.4.11-2)

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Duncan is the King of Scotland. The play begins with Duncan, his sons and his thanes engaged in a battle with rebel lords and the invading King of Norway. He trusts Macbeth and all of his loyal men, and makes Macbeth Thane of Cawdor in gratitude for his service in the battle. He is presented as a good king, not least by Macbeth, who initially seems reluctant to kill him. With his death Scotland descends into chaos and tyranny under Macbeth.

O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall

  1. Here lay Duncan,
    His silver skin lac’d with his golden blood;
    And his gash’d stabs look’d like a breach in nature
    For ruin’s wasteful entrance. (2.3.109-12)

  2. Most sacrilegious murther hath broke ope
    The Lord’s anointed Temple. (2.3.66-7)

  3. This Duncan
    Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
    So clear in his great office, that his virtues
    Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongu’d, against
    The deep damnation of his taking –off. (1.7.12-20)

  4. All our service,
    In every point twice done, and then done double,
    Were poor and single business, to contend
    Against those honours deep and broad, wherewith
    Your majesty loads our house. (1.6.14-8)

  5. There if I grow,
    The harvest is your own. (1.4.32-3)

  6. The service and the loyalty I owe,
    In doing it, pays itself. Your Highness’ part
    Is to receive our duties. (1.4.22-4)

  7. God save the King! (1.2.48)