In Macbeth, what are some (3-4) significant parts in King Duncan's life?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Macbeth's murder of King Duncan is made even more horrible by the fact that Duncan is an extraordinarily good man--loving, kind, generous, and trusting. When he comes to Macbeth's castle to stay the night, Duncan greets Lady Macbeth warmly, telling her it is his love for her that has brought him there. He also states his love for Macbeth; Duncan says he intends to "continue our graces towards him," in addition to having just made Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor. Being the good and trusting man he is, Duncan believes he is among those who love him, also, and he feels completely secure as he retires for the night. 

Macbeth thinks upon Duncan's excellence of character, even as he plans to kill him:

Besides, this Duncan

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels trumpet-tongued against

The deep damnation of his taking-off;

In this passage, Macbeth acknowledges that Duncan has exercised his royal power gently, never abusing it, and that he has ruled Scotland in a way that has kept him above any criticism or blame. Besides being such a good man, Duncan also has been an honorable king, wise and fair. Macbeth knows that Duncan's death will arouse such pity that "tears shall drown the wind."