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Based on your reading of Macbeth so far, who do you think is most responsible for planning to kill Duncan?

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Introduction

Based on your reading of Macbeth so far, who do you think is most responsible for planning to kill Duncan? Macbeth, Lady Macbeth or the witches? Argue your case with detailed reference to the play. The witches, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth. In one way or another all of these characters are connected and responsible for King Duncan's murder. It takes each of the characters to play a part in his death and therefore if Macbeth had never met the witches then the whole affair could have been avoided. Macbeth is a fictional tale, produced as a play, about good and evil, an insight to a murder's mind, the difference between illusions and reality and a tragedy. "Fair is foul, and foul is fair," meaning that not everything is as good and innocent as it seems and cannot be trusted. This play can take on many different themes, evil, ambition, guilt, violence to name just a few. Death and murder. And this makes it difficult to determine a decision about who is responsible for killing Duncan and who is responsible for planning his death. Firstly we have the witches, "not like th'inhabitants o'th' earth". During the time Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, witches and witchcraft were a sign of evil and many hundreds of people, mainly women, were convicted as witches and executed. ...read more.

Middle

Afraid. Ambiguous language plays a great part during lines 64-8 Act 1, Scene 5. She refuses to use direct language about the murder; she may be scared herself and unsure. Or it could be to protect Macbeth from the awfulness of their actions to be. Also the words have double meanings, considering that the servants at the castle could over-hear their conversation the Macbeths don't want to take any chances. "Must be provided for", being fed or being killed. "The night's great business" could be referring to the feast and the welcoming of King Duncan, but it could also represent the actual murder which will be performed at night. Lady Macbeth does not want Macbeth to see the brutality of killing his King, for whom he fought for. She could also be protecting her own conscience, as neither does she want to see the truth in murdering somebody. She does not want to be caught. But when Macbeth gets cold feet about whether to kill or not kill, Lady Macbeth isn't so easily put off and immediately begins to bully Macbeth. "And live a coward" she insults him, taunting Macbeth that he could not possibly be a man because he has no honour or pride. Calling him a coward is a rash action against him when announces, "we will proceed no further in this business". ...read more.

Conclusion

But Macbeth has great ambition and may already want to be king so the witches therefore could not be totally responsible. We can see it is quite easy to resist the witches as demonstrated by Banquo. He knows the witches could just be trying to plant ideas in his head as he says, "And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence" This shows us Banquo can control his thoughts and that most people can. Macbeth, however, has a weak point and cannot control his ambition when it is driven forwards by Lady Macbeth. They are all to blame for Duncan's murder and death, despite the witches playing a small role by contrast to Macbeth killing Duncan. Or perhaps the supernatural happenings in the play have more of part to play than first imagined. First we have the possibility of the witches casting a spell upon Macbeth and then the evil spirits Lady Macbeth asks to "unsex" her. On one hand the evil fate of Macbeth could have been pre arranged by the supernatural and on the other it seems that people are responsible for there own actions. It all comes down to the question do you believe in fate? ...read more.

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