Ross is a Scottish nobleman, and a relation of Macduff and his wife.

He acts as a messenger repeatedly in the play, delivering the news of the Thane of Cawdor’s treachery to Duncan, announcing to Macbeth that he has been promoted to Thane, reporting to Macduff that his family has been slaughtered, and finally telling Seyward of his son’s death in battle.


cruel are the times, when we are traitors,
And do not know ourselves

— Act IV, scene 2

Need to know

• Thane in service of Duncan

• Tells Macbeth he is Thane of Cawdor

• A relation of Macduff

• A relation of Lady Macduff

• Tells Macduff of his wife’s murder

Key quote

Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward To what they were before.

— Act IV, scene 2

Also called

worthy Thane
— Act I, scene 2

my ever gentle cousin
— Act IV, scene 3


Thane of Ross
— Act I, scene 2