Most of Macbeth's good characteristics are only in evidence at the beginning of the play, before his ambition, the goading of his wife, and supernatural forces have conspired to turn him into a murderous monster. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as, in King Duncan's words, a "worthy gentleman," loyal to the king, his cousin. Indeed, in the first account (in Act I Scene 2) we hear of Macbeth's character, he is fighting for the King against a rebellion and invasion by a Norwegian king. In the fight, Macbeth kills the traitor Macdonwald, decapitating him and publicly displaying his head. As he learns of the witches' prophecy that he should become king of Scotland, he is filled with "fear" according to Banquo. Only later does he admit that "chance may crown me without my stir." Even as he is preparing to kill the King, Macbeth is torn by his own conscience. He acknowledges that nothing but "vaulting ambition" motivates him to commit murder, and has actually decided to put off the assassination until later before his wife challenges him to overcome his fear and his conscience. Macbeth, in short, is a decent man at the beginning of the play, and this only makes his descent into madness and violence all the more stark.