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How far is Macbeth responsible for Duncan’s death?

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Macbeth Coursework Wednesday 21 February 2001 How far is Macbeth responsible for Duncan's death? The name of the play is Macbeth. It was written by William Shakespeare and was set in Scotland. The play was written in 1606. At the time that the play was written there were lots of issues that Shakespeare reflected on in his writing. People didn't like King James being on the throne because he was Catholic and the majority of the country was Protestant. King James' mother was Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth had her executed. King James didn't want people to think that it was acceptable to kill a king or queen. A man called Guido Fawkes rebelled against the king, he tried to blow up the houses of parliament and kill the king (the gunpowder plot). Shakespeare made the play Macbeth appeal to king James by including lots of things the king was interested in. Shakespeare had Macbeth die a horrible because he killed a king; in those days kings were considered to be God's agents, so an action against a king was a crime against God. Shakespeare also included witches or "the weird sisters". ...read more.


Macbeth sends a letter to Lady Macbeth, telling her what the witches told him. She is determined to help Macbeth become king. When she finds out Duncan will be staying the night she persuades Macbeth to kill the king. When Duncan's body is discovered, his sons flee leaving Macbeth to claim the throne. The main characters are the Witches, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Duncan and Banquo. Each one of the main characters is partly responsible for the death of Duncan. The witches were partly responsible for Macbeth's actions. It was believed that Satan had rebelled against God, and he was responsible, through witches and evil spirits, for all attacks on the divine order. They put ideas in to Macbeth's head about becoming king when they addressed him thus: "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor, All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!" Moments later two of the King's messengers arrived, and the first of the weird sisters prophecies came true. The King had made him Thane of Cawdor. This made Macbeth think that their second prophecy might come true too. They cast spells on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to control them and make them evil, Lady Macbeth called the evil spirits ...read more.


She is cunning and manipulative, "From this time such I account thy love", " And live a coward in thine own esteem." She also took part in the murder of the king. To me she seems conniving and devious and this is the way I have seen her portrayed in films and plays. I don't really think you can hold Duncan responsible for Macbeth's actions but I do think he was too trusting. He invites himself to Macbeth's castle with out even thinking about his safety. In the productions and films I've seen Duncan is depicted as being na�ve. Banquo could as be held partly responsible for Macbeth actions. He was there when the witches made the prophecies and he noticed how Macbeth looked rapt and preoccupied, "Look how our partner's rapt." He also suspected Macbeth but he did nothing, "I dreamt last night of the three Weird Sisters. To you they have shown some truth." He also said, "Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis, all, as the weird women promised, and I fear thou play'dst most foully for't." I think Lady Macbeth is most responsible for Duncan's death because she asked the evil spirits to possess her. She knew what she was doing, and with out her, Macbeth wouldn't have been motivated enough to kill the king. ...read more.

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