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Based on your detailed knowledge of Act 1 of Macbeth who do you think is most responsible for killing Duncan? Macbeth, Lady Macbeth or the Witches?

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Introduction

Shakespeare Essay Ben Whitmarsh-Knight Based on your detailed knowledge of Act 1 of Macbeth who do you think is most responsible for killing Duncan? Macbeth, Lady Macbeth or the Witches? In this essay I will be debating, on the bases of Act 1 of Macbeth, who is most responsible for killing Duncan the king of Scotland. I will consider all the factors that may have influenced Macbeth and I will measure and assess every ones contributions. Though it was Macbeth that commits the murder I will evaluate if he is solely responsible. The other characters I will be comparing are the Witches and Lady Macbeth. The Play is about Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and their journey to the throne. If it is looked at in depth it shows that some people will do anything in the name of ambition. Ambition can turn the most loyal and noble man into and evil murderer. Ambition can make people manipulative and test relationships, morals and sense. Macbeth also has the theory that "fair is foul an foul is fair" (Act-1 Scene-1 Line-12) or that things aren't as they seem running through it. In my opinion the best way to show how each character is guilty is to use the metaphor of dynamite. ...read more.

Middle

She is determined that he should be king but she also knows the power that would give her. Lady Macbeth is a very strong character and also very evil. She judges her husband in every way, she knows he is ambitious - "Art not without ambition" (Act-1 Scene-5 Line-17) - but she doesn't think his ambition is enough and that he doesn't have the "illness that should attend it." (Act-1 Scene-5 Line-18) She also knows how brave and courageous he is but knows that that's where his weakness lies. If his masculinity is challenged or his bravery is challenged he could rise to any challenge. In this respect Lady Macbeth is very clever and manipulative - "Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself?" (Act-1 Scene-7 Line-35/36) - in using this to her advantage in her plan. She also puts herself in full control of everything - "leave the rest to me" (Act-1 Scene-5 Line-71) - which suggests that she doesn't fully trust her husband to have the heart or have the evil in him to plan and carry out the deed - "too full of the milk of human kindness" (Act-1 Scene-5 Line-15). The strong character of Lady Macbeth also has weaknesses, she realizes what she is planning to do and invites evil forces or "spirits" (Act-1 Scene-5 Line-38) ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth being the dynamite, therefore the killer, is naturally responsible for the murder but only as much as his wife in my opinion. He did not wish to do it but his wife changed his mind, planned it, and helped him actually do it. To conclude the Witches are slightly responsible for the murder because they started everything by lighting the spark of ambition. That was then passed on and built up until it reached the end of its path in the mind of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is more responsible, she not only carried the spark of ambition but that spark accumulated with her already existing ambition and turned into a flame. She also took and active part in the murder. Macbeth is just as responsible as his wife because even though he was the murderer, and that should mean that he is the one responsible, he didn't want to do it was the spark of the Witches idea and the ambition of Lady Macbeth that left him open to manipulation and ultimately made him kill his king. In truth it doesn't matter who is most responsible, the fact is that you need all the components to blow up a sick of dynamite so nothing would have happened without all parties involved. ...read more.

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