Are there any quotes in Macbeth that discuss trust?

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We can also find examples of trust quotes which relate specifically to Macbeth's relationship with The Witches. This relationship is based entirely on trust: that is, Macbeth trusts their every word and treats their prophecies as fact. When he first meets them in act I , scene III,...

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We can also find examples of trust quotes which relate specifically to Macbeth's relationship with The Witches. This relationship is based entirely on trust: that is, Macbeth trusts their every word and treats their prophecies as fact. When he first meets them in act I, scene III, for example, Macbeth's instant trust of The Witches is shown by the following line:

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.

In other words, although Macbeth knows that these women are witches, he has developed an instant trust towards them.This explains why he wants to know more about what they have to say.

We can find another example of his trust towards The Witches in act III, scene IV, after Macbeth has just seen Banquo's ghost:

I will tomorrow—

And betimes I will—to the weird sisters.

More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know,

By the worst means, the worst.

Here, Macbeth is saying that The Witches hold all the answers. He trusts them so much that he will not make another move without hearing what they have to say.

While these quotes do not explicitly talk about trust, they provide strong indications of how Macbeth feels about The Witches. These quotes make it clear that he trusts them and their every word.

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In act 4, scene 3, Macduff encourages Malcolm to fight against Macbeth and regain the title of King of Scotland that is rightfully his. However, Malcolm does not completely trust Macduff and cautiously responds to his comments regarding Scotland under Macbeth's tyrannical reign. Malcolm understands that Macbeth could have easily sent Macduff to spy on him and begins to test Macduff's loyalty. To determine whether or not Macduff is trustworthy, Malcolm tells him that he would be a terrible king because he has numerous vices. Malcolm tells Macduff that he is malicious, greedy, deceitful, and violent, which disturbs Macduff and causes him to lament for his homeland. Macduff's passionate outburst proves to Malcolm that he is trustworthy, and Malcolm ends up enlisting Macduff's help to defeat Macbeth. Malcolm tells Macduff,

Macduff, this noble passion, Child of integrity, hath from my soul Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts To thy good truth and honor (Shakespeare, 4.3.117-119).

Overall, Malcolm tests Macduff's loyalty by feigning to be an ignorant and wicked king, which elicits a passionate response from Macduff and proves that he is trustworthy and loyal.

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Macbeth is all about trust and betrayal. So, here are two major examples of the abuse of trust in the play.

1. At the beginning of the play, king Duncan strips the traitorous Thane of Cawdor of his titles and has him killed because the thane conspired with the Norwegians against Duncan. Duncan was naturally disappointed because he trusted the thane:

There's no art
To find the mind's construction in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.

The King states that one's appearance can be rather deceiving and that although he trusted the thane, he was eventually tricked by him. What is ironic is that king Duncan will put his trust in another man who will betray him just like the thane of Cawdor did. And this man is, of course, Macbeth.

 2. When Macbeth confronts the dilemma of whether to murder king Duncan or not, he goes through the list of reasons why he should not kill the king. One of the most important reasons is because Duncan trusts him:

He's here in double trust;
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself.

So, Macbeth states that Duncan trusts him for two reasons. First, they are relatives, so killing the king would not only be unacceptable, but sinful as well. Macbeth is also his most loyal subject, so he should support him, not murder him. Second, Duncan will be a guest at Macbeth's home, so, as his host, Macbeth should protect him and make sure that Duncan is safe. Nevertheless, we know that Macbeth will abuse this trust which Duncan has and take advantage of the fact that Duncan is at his home so that he could kill the king.

 

 

 

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