How did Macbeth win the respect of King Duncan?  

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dstuva's profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In short, Macbeth in Shakespeare's play of the same name, wins Duncan's respect and is rewarded by Duncan when, as the "bloody man" or Captain says:

...he [Macbeth] unseamed him [the traitor Macdonwald] from the nave to th'chops,

And fixed his head upon our battlements. (Act 1.2.22,23)

In other words, Macbeth disembowels the treacherous Macdonwald, beheads him, and raises his head on a pole.  Macbeth also repels the Norwegian force that is allied with the Thane of Cawdor, matching Cawdor blow for blow until, finally, Duncan's forces win.

Thus, Duncan assumes Macbeth to be his loyal Thane, and, along with his respect, gives him the Thane of Cawdor's castle and lands.

Ironically, at the close of the play, Macbeth will be the one beheaded for his treachery.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that the answer you are looking for is that Macbeth wins Duncan's respect through his bravery in battle.

I assume you are talking about what is said in Act I, Scene 2.  In that scene, we see Duncan talking about Macbeth.  He calls Macbeth "valiant" and "worthy."

The reason that Duncan says these things is because of Macbeth's performance in battle.  Duncan has just been told that Macbeth has performed very bravely in a battle against people who would have overthrown Duncan.  Specifically, Duncan has just heard about how Macbeth killed Macdonwald.

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