Macbeth

In Macbeth Act 1,Scene II,provides us with the views,Duncan and the bloodied captain have of Macbeth.Explain the Captain's description of the battle and the part played by Macbeth in securing victory?

describe in detail how the captain describes macbeth's bravery and how he gets victory

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In Act I Scene II, Duncan meets a wounded Sergeant from the battle-field. Malcolm praises him by saying that he saved him from being made a prisoner.

The Sergeant is bleeding. So, the King thinks that the Sergeant can give the latest news about the battle-field that is going on between Macbeth and Macdonwald. The Sergeant, therefore, gives an account of the battle. He says that when they left it, the result was undecided.

The Sergeant conveys his idea by using a simile. He compares the two fighting armies to two competing swimmers. These two swimmers compete as long as their strength is not spent up. After that, they desperately cling to each other without using their art of swimming. Thus they try to choke and destroy each other. The same was the case with the two armies. They were in a fierce embrace of battle. They seemed to destroy each other. At the same time, they seemed to be destroying themselves also.

Duncan praises and honors the words as well as the wounds of the loyal soldier. The soldier goes off the stage and Ross enters.

Ross an eyewitness of the fight pays a glowing tribute to Macbeth bravery and courage. He calls Macbeth the bridegroom of Bellona or the chosen favorite of the Roman goddess of war. Macbeth was clad in Armour which could not be pierced by any weapon. He met the invader, Sweno, face to face, pitted his own strength against him and proved that he was in all respects a match to Sweno. Macbeth met the King of Norway in a fight, with his sword point against the sword point of the King. he gave the King blow after blow and checkmated his insolent spirit. In other words, Macbeth won by defeating the insolent invader, Sweno.

The scene is important from many viewpoints. It tells us about the defeat of Macdonwald and the Norwegian King by Macbeth. Thus, the scene arouses our curiosity in Macbeth and prepares us for his triumphant arrival.

Act 1 Scene 2 Duncan, King of Scotland, was conferring with his sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, at a fortress near Forres. Matters could not be worse. The rebels, led by the northern Thane, Macdonwald, had made an alliance with the Norwegian king and the two forces were preparing to roll across Scotland like a tidal wave. Two sentries brought a limping, bleeding soldier to the King. The man clutched his torn side, resisting an overwhelming desire to pass into unconsciousness. It was clear that he had something important to tell the King. ‘What bloody man is this?’ said Duncan. ‘I can see he’s just come from the battlefield so he’ll be able to give us the latest news.’ ‘Ah!’ exclaimed Malcolm. ‘This is the sergeant who struggled so valiantly to save me from captivity. Hello, brave friend. Tell the King how things stand.’ The man winced. His breathing was laboured but his eyes shone. ‘It was on a knife-edge,’ he said. ‘The armies were like two spent swimmers clinging together to prevent themselves from drowning. Then the merciless Macdonwald’ – the sergeant spat with disgust – ‘that most vile of men! – brought in some reinforcements from the western isles. After that fortune began smiling on him.’ Duncan and his sons exchanged glances. Lennox, a close ally of the King, was there too. Their faces expressed the seriousness of the situation. ‘But it was all in vain,’ continued the sergeant. He tried a smile and winced again. ‘Because brave Macbeth – how well he deserves that name! – disregarding his own safety, brandishing his sword, which smoked with hot blood, carved his way through the troops until he faced the cursed rebel. He didn’t stop – no handshakes or farewells – until he had unseamed him from the navel to the jaw and fixed his head on our battlements.’ ‘Oh!’ exclaimed Duncan. ‘Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!’ ‘But it wasn’t over yet,’ said the sergeant. ‘Can you believe this, King of Scotland? No sooner had the western islanders taken to their heels than the Norwegian tried again. Armed with reinforcements he began a fresh assault.’ ‘Didn’t that dismay our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?’ said the King. The sergeant attempted a laugh. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘As much as sparrows dismay eagles or hares lions. If I’m completely honest I’d say they were like overworked guns, their barrels exploding, as they lay into the enemy.’ He slipped to the ground. ‘I’m weak, I need help.’ ‘You’ve done well,’ said Duncan. He turned to an attendant. ‘Go, get him to a doctor.’ As the sentries carried the sergeant out another newcomer, even fresher from the battlefield, arrived. ‘It’s the worthy Thane of Ross!’ said Malcolm. ‘And in a hurry,’ said Lennox. ‘Bursting to tell us something.’ ‘God save the King!’ said Ross. ‘Where have you come from, worthy Thane?’ said Duncan. ‘From Fife, great King,’ said Ross. ‘Where Norwegian banners have been flying freely. Norway himself, with the help of that most disloyal of traitors, the Thane of Cawdor, began a terrible assault. Until Macbeth, absolutely fearless, confronted him head on and, matching him point for point, blow for blow, ground him down and, to conclude -’ Ross grinned. ‘The victory fell on us.’ Duncan spun round and beamed at his council. ‘Great happiness!’ he said and clapped his hands. ‘So now,’ said Ross, ‘Sweno’s in disarray. ‘And we didn’t even allow him to bury his men until he had paid us ten thousand dollars.’ ‘That Thane of Cawdor won’t have a chance of deceiving us again,’ said Duncan. He placed his hand on Ross’ shoulder. ‘Go and see to his immediate execution and with his former title greet Macbeth.’ ‘I’ll take care of it,’ said Ross. ‘What he has lost the noble Macbeth has won,’ said Duncan.