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Could you please provide a character analysis for Lennox in Macbeth?

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tsepo | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:38 PM via web

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Could you please provide a character analysis for Lennox in Macbeth?

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rswartz | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:43 PM (Answer #1)

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Lennox is being craftily ironic. He's no dunce. That's a complete misread.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 10, 2010 at 10:48 PM (Answer #2)

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Lennox is the Fickle Thane: he gravitates to whoever is in power.  First, he's "loyal" to Duncan; then Macbeth; finally, Malcolm.

Lennox is none too bright.  Shakespeare uses him as a mouthpiece for dunces.  He has many dim-witted, deadpan lines that show verbal irony.  Like this one in Act II, just before Duncan's murder is discovered:

Goes the king hence to-day?

Monty Python has made many skits out of guys like Lennox and lines like these.

Then, there's Lennox who echoes Macbeth's lies.  The propaganda pitch man.  Look at these gullibly ironic lines from after the murder:

Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done 't:
Their hands and faces were an badged with blood;

And then we return to the one-liners.  At the banquet scene, when Banquo's bloody ghost has already taken the spot:

May't please your highness sit.

And there's the Lennox that's both so gullible and fawning for power that he has to get the last line in after Lady Macbeth has rousingly dismissed the guests:

Good night; and better health
Attend his majesty!

Macbeth needs a doctor about as much as the Bleeding Captain needs a Band-Aid.

And now, my favorite.  A monologue that's so bad that most directors cut it from the staged play.  Did Shakespeare really write this scene?  It's so full of logical fallacy that it's parody:

And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late;
Whom, you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd,
For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late.

Here's a translation: "Duncan was murdered, and Malcolm fled.  Therefore, he must have murdered his father.  So, if Banquo was murdered, and Fleance fled, it must mean--Ipso facto--that he murdered his father too."

Sounds again like Monty Python.  "If she weighs the same as a duck...she must be made of wood...and therefore...a witch!  Burn her!"

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