Why is King Duncan Unhappy with the Thane of Cawdor?

Why was King Duncan unhappy with Macbeth? Why did he Call for the Execution? How did Macbeth betray the Thane of Cawdor?

Shakespeare wrote a play titled Macbeth. When the play opens, rebel lords and the king of Norway are attacking, and Duncan’s sons and thanes are fighting them. Did you know why is King Duncan unhappy with the Thane of Cawdor and why does King Duncan order Cawdor’s execution? We will clarify all your doubts. Also, we will look at how did the Thane of Cawdor betray Duncan. Continue reading to learn more.

1. Why is King Duncan Unhappy with the Thane of Cawdor in Macbeth?

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A noble Scottish lord known as a Thane is in charge of a specific territory. The Thane of Cawdor controls the Cawdor region in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Since the king grants the thane that territory, he directly reports to the king. In Act 1, Scene 2 introduces the wicked Thane of Cawdor as a traitor. The Thane of Cawdor deceived his king and his nation by teaming up with the Norwegian Monarch to fight against Scotland. King Duncan decides that the traitor must be put to death. (See Summary of Macbeth Act 1 – Scene 3)

2. How did the Thane of Cawdor Betray Duncan?

Since you know why is King Duncan unhappy with the Thane of Cawdor, you would like to know how did the Thane of Cawdor betray Duncan. At the start of the play, the Thane of Cawdor previously betrayed Duncan by supporting the King of Norway in his conflict with Scotland. When King Duncan sees this, he accuses the man of being a traitor. But unfortunately, the king is twice betrayed in this drama. This will be explained in the later part of Act 1.

3. Why does King Duncan Order Cawdor’s Execution?

Given the fact that he was a traitor. At the start of the play, King Duncan and the kingdoms of Norway and Ireland are at odds. When it is revealed in the first scene that the opposing Norwegian army is led by a man named MacDonald, the Thane of Cawdor is portrayed as being in open conflict with Duncan and hence a traitor. This would have answered your question- why does King Duncan order Cawdor’s execution? (See Summary of Macbeth Act 5)

4. Why was Macbeth Crowned as Thane of Cawdor?

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While knowing why is King Duncan unhappy with the Thane of Cawdor, let’s see why Macbeth was crowned as Thane of Cawder. The second scene opens with King Duncan of Scotland and a band of warriors under the command of a rebel named MacDonwald engaged in a recent fight. Additionally, the army from Norway, which is joined with the Thane of Cawdor, has depressed the king. A commander claims to have witnessed Macbeth and Banquo engaging the rebels in valiant combat. Macbeth killed MacDonwald, a treacherous person. Ross is sent as King Duncan’s messenger to tell Macbeth that he will bestow the title of Thane of Cawdor upon him in exchange. 

5. Was Macbeth Excited with the Title of The Thane of Cawdor?

Yes. The witches’ prophecy came to pass. The predictions came true due to Macbeth’s courage in the battle. Duncan appointed him Thane of Cawdor, so Macbeth is excited to know what would happen next. (See How are Frankenstein and Prometheus Alike?)

6. Why did Macbeth Think it was Impossible for Him to be the Thane of Cawdor?

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Macbeth thinks he can’t become the Thane of Cawdor because the present Thane is alive. Also, the succeeding thane is appointed when the current thane becomes old.

In short, Macbeth is named the Thane of Cawdor after the act of treason of the present thane. We hope that this article on why is King Duncan unhappy with the Thane of Cawdor was helpful. (See Why is Shakespeare Called the Bard?)

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