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Analyse how Lady Macbeth persuaded Macbeth to murder Duncan, with a detailed reference to Act 1 Scenes 5, 6 and 7 and Act II scene 1.

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Introduction

GCSE ENGLIGH/ LITERATURE COURSEWORK "MACBETH" by William Shakespeare As part of my GCSE English "Macbeth" coursework, I had to analyse how Lady Macbeth persuaded Macbeth to murder Duncan, with a detailed reference to Act 1 Scenes 5, 6 and 7 and Act II scene 1. Also, I needed to consider the events and themes of the play so far, the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and the nature of their relationship. At the beginning of Act 1 scene 5, Lady Macbeth is alone on stage with a letter, a letter from Macbeth. The letter informs her of Macbeth's meeting with the witches and their report that reflects there is more in them than mortal knowledge. Their greetings to him "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to the thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to the thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth! That shall be king thereafter!" show elements of truth in them by the occurrence of the second greeting. Macbeth cannot but hope and desire for the third promise to be fulfilled. Lady Macbeth is pleases and determined by Macbeth's letter. She hasn't the slightest doubt that Macbeth is the king that shall be, yet she fears his nature. She considers him to be too full of the "...milk of human kindness..." to catch the nearest way to success. She doesn't doubt his ambition but considers it an ill that Macbeth aims high, would take every opportunity to achieve it and yet wants to be honest. ...read more.

Middle

He knows the assassination would be wrong and that he would end up paying the price (in this world or by going to hell). Although Macbeth is a man of strong character and of action this moral problem makes him hesitate. Macbeth is the king's kinsman his host and his subject who so far has remained loyal and presently is in double trust. He has earned further fame and praise and has been honoured lately. Macbeth's conscience persuasively informs him that Duncan's goodness and kindness is so great that his murder would create an outcry amongst the angels. The consequence of his murder would mean the depths of hell for Macbeth. Duncan is such a rightful king that the heavens would be outraged by his murder. The only thing pushing Macbeth is his selfish ambition like a horseman who tries to vault to hastily on to his horse and ends up on the other side, Macbeth worries that his ambitions are greater than his ability to achieve it. Macbeth informs Lady Macbeth that he 'will proceed no further in this business' Macbeth wants to enjoy the new honours and golden opinion he wears. Although Macbeth states his reason he does not admit to his lady about his conscience and unhappiness about the whole affair. Lady Macbeth uses three different ways to persuade Macbeth. Firstly, she uses blackmail. She asks him if he were drunk when he clothed himself in the hope to be king. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth's persuasion played a crucial role and spurred him on. She took control of the reigns. Her fierce accusations, blackmailing and assurance convinced Macbeth to do the deed. The witches predicted, the lady persuaded but can we say that if it wasn't for them, the evil act would never have occurred to Macbeth? At the end of the day, we are a creation who have a consciousness, a basic sense of right or wrong which is instilled from birth, it is more than obvious throughout the play that Macbeth fully understands the out come of his actions and he can weigh up the arguments for and against the consequence of carrying out the murder. As a knight, he can clearly see how a premeditated murder is unlike being killed in the battle field and also against the natural law. He goes against his better judgement and lets his conscience give into his ambitions. The burden of the blame is upon the culpable shoulders of Macbeth, who even at the very last moment could have prevented the evil. Unfortunately, the strong hold of the blanket of evil would not allow the light of the heavenly stars to penetrate through in order to prevent this most evil, of mans' sins. In the end it is Macbeth who committed the murder; the blame is with none but him. Just for the reason that Lady Macbeth persuades him, and the witches unleash his ambitions they cannot bear the ultimate blame after all the devil only suggested and Adam took the bite! 1 ...read more.

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