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"Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan" Discuss this statement and decide whether or not you agree.

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Introduction

Michael Smith English Coursework "Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan" Discuss this statement and decide whether or not you agree. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is generally considered to be the greatest playwright and poet that has ever lived. His works have been translated, read, and analysed throughout the world. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, many poems, and 37 plays, which have been grouped into comedies, histories, and tragedies. Macbeth was written especially for James I and was performed in 1606. Macbeth is the last of Shakespeare's four great tragedies, the others being Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. It is a relatively short play without a major subplot, and it is considered by many scholars to be Shakespeare's darkest work. The play is about Macbeth, who turns from a heroic fighter to a man with such greed, he would kill to receive his reward- in this case the crown. It can be argued that Lady Macbeth is mostly responsible for Duncan's murder, but then the witches were the ones who began the whole affair, so who is responsible? Macbeth is another factor. He was the one who was at first tempted by the witches' prophecies which made him think that he would become King. Straight away from Act 1: Scene 1 we know the Witches are interested in Macbeth. They question when they will next meet and decide 'upon the heath' that they will meet him. ...read more.

Middle

We cannot really blame Macbeth for being interested in the prophecies whereas Lady Macbeth has a stronger reason, as she wants him to become King, even if Duncan has to be done away with in the process. When Lady Macbeth calls upon dark spirits to 'unsex' her, to take away her womanly values, and to give her more manly ones so she has the guts to plan, and maybe even commit the murder and help Macbeth to do it if he were to. The audience would see Lady Macbeth paint her husband as a weak, cowardly man. At this point in the play, I would argue and agree that she is the driving force behind the murder to be committed, because she is really up for Macbeth to become King but Macbeth is quite wary about it. In Macbeth's speech, Act 1: Scene 7, it shows that he finds more reasons against the murder of Duncan rather than for it. These include; 'Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office' and 'his virtues will plead like angels, trumpet-tongu'd against the deep damnation of his taking off.' In the first point, it shows that Macbeth thinks of Duncan as a good King with good qualities as he has given him two titles of Thane and plenty of praises for winning battles. The second is very important, as they believed a lot in God and spirits so he would have thought that if he murdered Duncan he would be damned in Hell forever. ...read more.

Conclusion

They must lie there:' But he is too distraught still to go return to the scene of the crime, so Lady Macbeth takes them off him and does this herself, which here shows she wants to be part of the murder. I think at this point again, all the blame is upon Lady Macbeth, as I sincerely doubt that carrying the murder weapons from the scene of the crime are the actions of a cold heartless killer. When Lady Macbeth tries to reassure her husband, 'A little water clears us of this deed: How easy is it then!' She makes Macbeth think that there will be no long term consequences for them, but deep down she really thinks that they have not done enough to cover their tracks, and that they will be found out. In conclusion, I would like to say Lady Macbeth was the complete driving force in this practice, but in every circumstance there isn't just one person that is to blame. There is always someone that has an influence upon them. So all in all I will say that Lady Macbeth was the main driving force in the murder of Duncan, for all the pieces she added to it like the planning, the reassurance and the assertion. But the Witches and Macbeth himself, also played their own part in the murder; from the Witches planning to meet Macbeth and "planting ideas" or "showing him his darkest desires" to Macbeth believing what they said and listening to his wife's assertions and leading to him committing the actual murder. ...read more.

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