• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the forces at work in act 1 that lead MacBeth to murder king Duncan. In light of this examination do you view MacBeth as a villain or victim?

Extracts from this document...


MacBeth Villain or Victim Examine the forces at work in act 1 that lead MacBeth to murder king Duncan. In light of this examination do you view MacBeth as a villain or victim? Shakespeare's MacBeth is a story of a hero turned villain and I will be analysing the events and circumstances in which this tremendous change of character happens and whether MacBeth is to blame or if he is a victim of circumstance. The witches had the biggest influence on MacBeth in my opinion because they effectively seeded his mind with the idea that he actually could become king. Not that he hadn't thought of it before, but that he could actually achieve it with in his own life time and it is this single idea that begins to worp his courageous and honourable mind into and scheming and treacherous one. Also the fact that Shakespeare makes Macbeth echo the witches riddle "foul is fair and fair is foul" in his opening line when he says "so foul and fair a day I have not seen." This to me implicates that MacBeth is already connected with the witches in some way and this may also be the reason way he is so egger to hear the witches prophesies. ...read more.


This makes king Duncan very proud and he confers the title of traitor cawdor who had just been defeated upon MacBeth making him the new "Thane of Cawdor". However after the witches prophesies to Macbeth, we see that he begins thinking of how he could become king and when King Duncan declares that his eldest son to be his successor Macbeth begins to think how he would get past this "this is a step /on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap'." He then goes on to say "let not light see my black and deep desires" this to me is his conciseness coming back into play and he is aware what he might have to do and doesn't wont anyone to notice what he's contemplating. Closer to the time when MacBeth is going to kill Duncan, his suppressed conscience come back in to play in a last bid for the dead and MacBeth comes up with several go reasons for not killing Duncan * He would get caught "But in these cases/ we still have judgement here." * The king trusts him "He's here in double trust." ...read more.


So in my opinion fate doesn't play a big part in the play but the way in which it is perceived by the characters and the people of the day the witches merely taking advantage of this and making it harder for MacBeth not to kill Duncan. When it came to killing Duncan, MacBeth's conscience made one last try to stop him with the illusion of a flouting dagger stained with blood. Nevertheless MacBeth still kills Duncan, this to me shows just how much control his wife and his ambition had over him and how much loyalty to the king really meant to him. Another example of this is when MacBeth says "We shall proceed not further in this business." However, Lady MacBeth accuses him of cowardice and he changes his mind again. This to me is a very good sign of how well his wife knew him and she was able to manipulate him every quickly. Therefore, overall in my opinion MacBeth is a Victim of his own ignorance, not to relies the extant he was being manipulated and a Villain, for after becoming king he killed without a second thought. Logi.S.Haraldsson English Coursework 2 GCSE Coursework Mrs. Crain Logi.S.Haraldsson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Macbeth - villain or victim?

    saying in other words" good is evil and evil is good, so good and evil a day I have not seen". This means he likes to be evil and thinks evilness is a good thing.

  2. Macbeth - Victim or Villain?

    When he firsts meets the witches, Macbeth is frightened because they know so much about him. Upon greeting him they mention his name and hail him "Thane of Glamis". Their predictions arouse his fear: "Why do you...fear things that....sound so fair" What the witches predict is that he will become thane of Cawdor and become king.

  1. Macbeth: Hero or Villain?

    She tells him to, "look like the time"", look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under't". Macbeth neither agreed nor disagreed. He only says that they would speak further. At the beginning of Act 1, Scene 7, Macbeth is alone in the hallway, contemplating the situation.

  2. Macbeth could be seen as either a victim or a villain, as in the ...

    She then asks the gods to remove her femininity and compassion for the king and Macbeth and asks to be replaced with cold remorseless ruthlessness to try and persuade Macbeth to kill the king. This is the event which gets Lady Macbeth thinking about her husband becoming king and she

  1. Responsibility for the murder of King Duncan?

    Soon after the three witches have left Macbeth shows a greedy desire: "Two truths are told," This particularly gluttonous desire continues throughout the play. Macbeth clearly knows that there would be great results for him, and his wife as a consequence of King Duncan's demise, and this can be seen

  2. Macbeth: Is he a hero or a villain?

    'Methought I heard a voice cry sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep', Macbeth is imagining things and is feeling guilty about murdering Duncan. Macbeth knows he could not be King without murdering Duncan. His actions illustrate he is a villain even though he feels guilty after.

  1. Macbeth Victim or Villain? Lady Macbeth, the witches and his own greed, wheras ...

    This shows that he feels guilty about this; and because of this, he decides that he wouldn't kill Duncan, but Lady Macbeth persuades him, which further proves that he is a victim. Macbeth was also under the influence of the three witches; because they appeared so inhuman and magical, " Speak if you can What are you?"

  2. Macbeth is more a victim than a villain. He is a tragic hero. Show ...

    This shows us that Macbeth may be a victim because Lady Macbeth is targeting his soft points. The imagery of darkness in this scene recalls Macbeth's earlier invocation of darkness. The imagery of blood runs through the play. Here blood is seen as a natural function of the human body.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work