In life all relationships are formed on the basis of trust. It is the foundation for all friendships and partnerships. It is one of the most basic instincts we posses as human beings and yet we tend to sometimes trust the wrong people. This usually results in hurt, either physical or emotional, sadness, betrayal, anger, grief, or any combination of these emotions. However, sometimes the consequence for trusting the wrong person can be as serious as death. Therefore being a good judge of character is essential but the only way to become one is through experience. Many people will take advantage of by others numerous times before they know what signs to look for in a dishonest person. However, some people never learn.
Duncan, you could say, is one of these people. Being king, a person of great position and importance, he surrounds himself with many people to whom he has given great responsibility and trust. Although he has had many experiences as King dealing with people closely, he has yet to improve his judgement of character. Already in Act I the Thane of Cawdor, someone whom he gave his trust, has betrayed him. Upon hearing of this attempted act of treason Duncan vows never to again trust someone based only on how they appear to be. In an act of contradiction almost immediately after, he appoints Macbeth as the new Thane of Cawdor based solely on the stories he has heard of Macbeth s great acts of bravery for the king and his country. Upon meeting Macbeth for the first time Duncan showers him with praises completely unaware that Macbeth has already contemplated killing Duncan so that he may become king. Duncan s misperception of Macbeth s true character proves to be fatal.
Macbeth, too, proves to be a poor judge of character, especially when his thoughts are over taken with greed. When he first encounters the three witches, Macbeth dismisses them based upon their wretched appearance and unfavorable reputation. However when they hail to him as Thane of Glamis , Thane of Cawdor , and king hereafter he listens to every word they say and, as they promise him more greatness then he has ever imagined, he begs them not to leave. When they are gone Ross and Angus arrived to inform Macbeth that the king has granted him the title of the Thane of Cawdor. Delighted that one of the witches prophecies has come true, his greed and desire to become king and fulfill the second prophecy corrupt his mind. He now has thoughts of murdering the king, something he once never thought himself capable of. Macbeth ignores his initial intuition about the witches and believes they must really be good if they have given him such great news of which two claims have already come true. Macbeth s misperception of the witches convinces himself to trust them and he now finds himself having thoughts of murder against his own king. If he proceeds with these thoughts, no matter if he is successful or not, he life will be altered drastically.
It would be unnatural to live life without trust and only through trial and error do we learn how and who to trust. We build a sense of judgement on how to perceive others and use that judgement to prevent ourselves from being mislead. Trusting others and being trusted is a part of human nature. However, trusting the wrong person can sometimes prove to be a tragic mistake.