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KING DUNCAN

King Duncan is a fictional characterin Shakespeare's Macbeth. He


is the father of two youthful sons (Malcolm and Donalbain), and the
victim of a well-plotted regicide in a power grab by his trusted
captain Macbeth. The origin of the character lies in a narrative of the
historical Donnchad mac Crinain, King of Scots, in Raphael
Holinshed's 1587 The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, a
history of Britain familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Unlike Holinshed's incompetent King Duncan (who is credited in the
narrative with a "feeble and slothful administration"), Shakespeare's
King Duncan is crafted as a sensitive, insightful, and generous fatherfigure whose murder grieves Scotland and is accounted the cause of
turmoil in the natural world.

Malcolm
With his brother Donalbain, Malcolm quickly ascertains the danger
of remaining in Scotland and flees the country (Act II, Scene 3). By the
time he reappears, in Act IV, Scene 3, he has won the support of Edward
the Confessor (king of England), he has mobilized troops under
Northumberland and Siward, and (to borrow a phrase from King Lear)
he is "every inch a king." If Macduff is the stereotypical revenger,
Malcolm is the embodiment of all that is good in kingship, and this is
seen particularly in Act IV, Scene 3, in which he tests the allegiance of
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Macduff. His testing of Macduff, although dramatically longwinded, is


psychologically accurate. By pretending to be what he is not, he hopes to
coax from Macduff a confession of his loyalty.

Siward
Siward or Sigurd (Old English: Sigeweard) was an important
earl of 11th-century northern England. The Old Norse nickname
Digri and its Latin translation Grossus ("the stout") are given to him by
near-contemporary texts. Siward was probably of Scandinavian origin,
perhaps a relative of Earl Ulf, and emerged as a powerful regional
strongman in England during the reign of Cnut ("Canute the Great",
10161035). Cnut was a Scandinavian ruler who conquered England in
the 1010s, and Siward was one of the many Scandinavians who came to
England in the aftermath of that conquest. Siward subsequently rose to
become sub-ruler of most of northern England. From 1033 at the latest
Siward was in control of southern Northumbria, that is, presentday Yorkshire, governing as earl on Cnut's behalf.
He entrenched his position in northern England by marrying
lffld, the daughter of Ealdred, Earl of Bamburgh. After killing
Ealdred's successor Eadulf in 1041, Siward gained control of all
Northumbria. He exerted his power in support of Cnut's successors,
kings Harthacnut and Edward, assisting them with vital military aid and
counsel. He probably gained control of the middle shires of
Northampton and Huntingdon by the 1050s, and there is some evidence
that he spread Northumbrian control into Cumberland. In the early 1050s
Earl Siward turned against the Scottish ruler Mac Bethad mac Findlach
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("Macbeth"). Despite the death of his son Osbjorn, Siward defeated


Mac Bethad in battle in 1054. More than half a millennium later the
Scotland adventure earned him a place in William Shakespeare's
Macbeth. Siward died in 1055, leaving one son, Waltheof, who would
eventually succeed to Northumbria. St Olave's church in York and
nearby Heslington Hill are associated with Siward.

Fleance
Fleance (or Flance) is a figure in legendary Scottish history. He
was depicted by sixteenth-century historians as the son of Lord Banquo,
Thane of Lochaber, and the ancestor of the kings of the House of Stuart.
Fleance is best known as a character in William Shakespeare's
play Macbeth, in which the Three Witches prophesy that Banquo's
descendants shall be kings. Some screen adaptations of the story expand
on Fleance's role by showing his return to the kingdom after Macbeth's
death.
Shakespeare's play is adapted from Holinshed's Chronicles, a
history of the British Isles written during the late sixteenth century. In
Holinshed, Fleance escapes Macbeth and flees to Wales, where he
fathers a son who later becomes the first hereditary steward to the King
of Scotland.

Hecate
Hecate is a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often
shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple
form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways,
dogs, light, the moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and
poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery.In the post-Christian
writings of the Chaldean Oracles(2nd-3rd century CE) she was regarded
with (some) rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal
role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World
Soul. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households
as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily
blessings on the family.
Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia, where
variants of her name are found as names given to children. William Berg
observes, "Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume
that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free
from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft
associated with the Hecate of classical Athens. She also closely parallels
the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome.