In Act I Scene 2 of Macbeth, what image do we have of Macbeth's bravery and ability as a warrior?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act I scene 2 the wounded Captain gives Duncan and his accompanying Lords an up-to-date newsflash of the battle that is raging and how the Scottish forces, led by Banquo and Macbeth are faring. What is interesting about this description is that we have not actually met Macbeth ourselves yet, and so what the Captain tells us about his character is particularly important. Note how he is introduced at first:

For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name--
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave...

Macbeth is clearly a brave and powerful warrior. However, at the same time, it is important to be aware of the way in which the images that the Captain uses to describe him reveal him to be something more than just a brave warrior. The fact that his sword "smoked with bloody execution" and his ferocity in killing Macdonwald by chopping him in two reveals perhaps a more ruthless and violent individual than merely a brave soldier. This is something that is supported by the Captain's later descriptions of him as being "Belladonna's bridegroom" and "valour's minion." In a sense, such images help prepare us for his ruthless acts later on in the play.

jaderoks | Student

Here macbeth is a great man of action.He is referred to as valour's minion,bellona's bridegroom,brave macbeth and creator of another golgotha.he has his personal power and generalship.In act1 scene 2 both the sergeant and duncan praise macbeth for his courage stressing that he carv'd out his passage until he was face to face with the enemy general.

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