The merciless Macdonwald –
Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him…
For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name!
Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour’s minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam’d him from the nave to th’ chops,
And fix’d his head upon our battlements.

– William Shakespeare

Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 2. The Captain tells King Duncan how the brave Macbeth led the Scots to victory against the King of Norway and executed the traitorous rebel Macdonwald. We see how Macbeth had the ability to defy fate and fortune with his sword. The quote shows that he is loyal to the King. We also witness his ruthlessness and propensity for gruesome violence. The battle “hero” is introduced as a bloodthirsty killer, who slices his opponent open from naval to jaw. This foreshadows Macbeth being a killer during the rest of the play. The passage uses metaphorical language to emphasize Macbeth’s heroic and bloody role in the battle – his sword “smoked with bloody execution.” We see simile and personification when Macbeth is likened to “valour’s minion” – the servant of courage. Macbeth is initially presented as a patriot in the play.