Why did the bleeding Captain describe the valour of Macbeth?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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After the battle, Malcolm recognizes the Captain (or Sergeant) as the one who saved him from being taken prisoner. Malcolm commends the Captain and asks the Captain to inform himself and Duncan about what happened during the battle. The Captain explains that the odds were against them. Macdonwald had a large army:

The merciless Macdonwald—
Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villainies of nature
Do swarm upon him—from the western isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied; (I.ii.11-15)

The Captain then describes Macbeth's valour and how he (Macbeth) fought his way through the army and claimed Macdonwald's head:

Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (I.ii.24-25)

The Captain described Macbeth's valour because it was Macbeth who was largely responsible for the victory. This ultimately leads to Duncan giving Macbeth the new title, Thane of Cawdor.


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