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To What Extent Does Shakespeare's Presentation of Lady Macbeth Encourage Us To Regard Her As Responsible for Macbeth's Murder Of King Duncan? Introduction: Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is one his most renowned plays and one of the shortest surviving tragedies. It was written in the 1600's in the reign of James who believed he was the descendant of Banquo. In the times of the 1600s Kings were regarded as a God in their divine right. People believed that a king was chosen by God and derived the power to rule from the will of God and not a temporal authority. To kill this legitimate ruler of the country was unacceptable. However, many people questioned the authority of the king, and seeing the power that a monarch possessed, tempted many to kill a king. Another thing they believed in was superstition and witches. In those times, it was believed that witches existed, that they possessed supernatural powers which were used for evil magic and spells. People assumed that these 'witches' had the power to affect things and people's lives which was in contrast of the idea of women, they were considered to be feminine and gentle not capable of doing anything unladylike. They were to sit at home with their children and that was their domain. Men had authority over them, they were to marry and look after their husband's family. They attended banquets with their husbands if they were rich in society or they went market to retrieve food to cook meals. Shakespeare is a very good manipulator through his plays he can make us react in a way he wants to, through his language and the way he presents his characters he influences us to respond in a certain way. Also the way he puts things in a particular order and dramatic speeches and theatrical events make us excited. It's seen as a tale of the dangers of the lust for power and the deception of friends. ...read more.


He is held responsible because contemplated evil things and impure thoughts from the very beginning prior to speaking to Lady Macbeth. Macbeth allowed him self to be manipulated by the witches and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's wife and Shakespeare's prime manipulator, should have had only so much control in the relationship but Macbeth allowed his wife more to that. The prince who was just made the Prince of Cumberland this is when Macbeth realizes if he is to be king than he'd need to go through the prince too. Macbeth mutters to the prince 'that is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,' here what he is trying to say is that the step that the prince made to become prince of Cumberland is something he should over trip on or either skip over in other words he either lets the prince become king, or either skip over him and become king himself. 'For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires' this suggests that Macbeth has already started thinking about his potential and who stands in the way and who will have to be silenced. He describes his desires as 'black and deep' which show us that there's negative a negative force driving him. Another reason why Macbeth is portrayed as responsible is because he starts taking the lead role Lady Macbeth which shows a role reversal. As Lady Macbeth goes mentally insane with all the guilt she is bearing, Macbeth is plotting more murders out of paranoia. This shows how advanced and calculating he has become independently. He starts to become the more dominant character. When Lady Macbeth took the lead role in the murder of Duncan, it mentally and emotionally destroyed her, whereas Macbeth killed Duncan and is killing again and again. When paranoia gets the better of him, he starts to become very blood thirsty without the help of Lady Macbeth. ...read more.


I don't think that Lady Macbeth is responsible because even though she wanted Duncan murdered, Macbeth wanted him dead too but he wasn't man enough to say it but Lady Macbeth's masculinity really showed there. Perhaps I would have sympothised with Macbeth later but since he started to kill more and more I started to think his true colours came. I believe that the supernatural had no responsibility in the murders I think it was only Macbeth and his ambition that is to blame. He only thought about himself by the end of the play, especially when Lady Macbeth died all he said was, 'She should have died hereafter; there would have been time for such a word,' which shows how unremorseful he is. Lady Macbeth was his partner in crime but after the murder they departed and by the time of her death he had nothing left to say, his motivation and will to live was gone. This play made me feel really negative right the way through because there was a dark force from the beginning. The witches were satanic creature so Macbeth agreeing to meet them was questionable at the time. Also when he sent murderer for his best friend Banquo, you knew all his ties went out the window and his greed took over him. He ordered many murders while his wife went mad, he didn't stop he also thought he was invincible which made me think of how ignorant he was to trust the witches. I think Macbeth was big headed right the way through the play even until the battle scene he boasted to a whole English army that no man born of woman could bring him any arm. He was very proud but he was courageous in what he did and how he went about it. I think because he was the man, that the responsibilities his own, men made the decision at the time so clearly Duncan's death was because he devised that. ...read more.

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