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"No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest: go pronounce his...

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tiredandhungry | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM via web

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"No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death, And with his former title greet Macbeth."

What is the significance of this quote to Macbeth in terms of theme, making connections, etc.?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:08 PM (Answer #1)

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This quotation is one of King Duncan's lines in Act 1.  The captain has returned from battle and has reported that the Thane of Cawdor is in fact a traitor because he gave important information to the Norwegian army.  Duncan wants him immediately removed from his position and plans to give the title to Macbeth because Macbeth fought valiantly in the name of Scotland.  This quotation is important because it establishes Duncan's character traits--Duncan believes in loyalty to Scotland and he believes that Macbeth would do anything to protect the country.  The irony of Macbeth's killing Duncan begins here--Duncan ultimately trusts Macbeth and believes that he deserves to be honored, but Macbeth is motivated by personal greed and intends to do whatever he can to further his position.

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