How is Macbeth a traitor to his kin in Macbeth?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Macbeth shows himself to be traitorous in so many ways. Clearly he puts his ambition and his power-hungry desires above the needs and what is best for his country, and this has tragic consequences. He is a traitor to his kin firstly in killing King Duncan, the rightful, God-appointed liege, and then he deliberately continues to act in his own interest and not in the interest of the nation that he is supposed to be ruling and supporting by perpetrating murder and slaughter in a large scale, first with Banquo and then with Macduff's family. Let us remember how Macduff describes the impact of Macbeth's rule on Scotland in Act IV scene 3 when he joins Malcolm in England:

Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny! lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dare not cheque thee: wear thou
thy wrongs;
The title is affeer'd!

Scotland both here and in other locations in the play is depicted as a wounded and injured individual that is greatly suffering under the tyrannous rule of Macbeth. Macbeth, therefore, is ultimately a traitor to his kin in the way that he rules Scotland for his own benefit rather than ruling in a way that places the interests of Scots and Scotland as a whole above his own interests.


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