Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Patriotism

1
Every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom’s great defense (1.3)

This line is spoken by Ross to Macbeth, explaining how pleased Duncan was with the bravery Macbeth showed during the rebellion. Ross highlights that Macbeth showed solidarity and patriotism for defending Scotland against a usurper, and indicates that these qualities make Macbeth worthy of praise and honor. The line, however, will later turn out to be ironic in that Macbeth will be revealed to be someone whom Scotland needs to be defended against.

2
Our duties are to your throne and state children and servants (1.5)

Macbeth speaks this line to Duncan, expressing the high level of loyalty and devotion a good subject should feel toward his king. The line reveals how a king and the nation that king rules are intertwined, and how someone who is loyal to one should be loyal to the other. However, this line also reveals that patriotism and loyalty can be feigned, since Macbeth is planning to kill Duncan and usurp the throne even as he is seemingly showing how obedient he is.

3
Bleed, bleed, poor country! (4.3)

Macduff speaks this line when he thinks he will not be able to persuade Malcolm to fight against Macbeth and take back the throne. He is in despair, and his main concern is the suffering that Scotland and his people will experience while Macbeth remains on the throne. Macduff shows his patriotism and devotion to his country by lamenting the fate he is afraid it will be left to suffer.

4
O nation miserable
With an untitled tyrant, bloody-sceptered (4.3)

Macduff speaks this line in his conversation with Malcolm when he becomes very distressed. Because of the lies Malcolm has just told him about his character, Macduff believes that no one is suitable to rule Scotland. At the same time, he still maintains the belief that Macbeth is a terrible ruler, since he obtained power through violent and illegitimate means. Macduff reveals his sincere love for his country through his desire to see a good and honorable man as its king.