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Who is most to blame for the murder of king Duncan? There are many themes in Macbeth. These include goodness and evil, loyalty and love, relationships, corruption, the supernatural and central to the meaning of the play is the theme of ambition. It is this fundamental theme which is mainly responsible for severable people's actions thus causing the death of king Duncan. In act 1, the three witches meet in a storm. They inform Macbeth he will be Thane of Cawdor and king of Scotland. Macbeth reveals his hopes for the crown and lady Macbeth, learning what has happened, shares Macbeth's ambition. She calls on spirits to give her strength, to undertake the murder of Duncan, "come to my woman's breasts, and take my milk for gall" and when Macbeth arrives, she insists on planning the murder. I feel that lady Macbeth is one of the key characters relating to the death of king Duncan. She determines she will assist her husband to becoming king whatever the cost, and when Macbeth appears at the castle, she begins the process of persuading him to murder Duncan. ...read more.


But Lady Macbeth is contemptuous of his change of heart, and accuses him of cowardice. "and live a coward in thine own esteem". she then goes on to manipulate him again and says, "look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent beneath it" They argue, but Macbeth agrees to go ahead with the murder. During this episode is in full control of herself and also her husband, which implies that she is the main character in the role of killing King Duncan. Macbeth then hallucinates, and imagines a bloody dagger leading him to the direction of King Duncan's bedroom. He follows it and finds the King's guards unconscious on the floor. Lady Macbeth has done this when she drugged their wine. He kills the guards, and goes to his wife. When she realises that the murder is done, her mood is bold, and she boasts how she has drugged the guards, "his two chamberlains will I with wine and wassail so convince that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason is limbeck only." ...read more.


Macbeth has chosen his course of action, which leads me to believe Macbeth himself is partly to blame for Duncan's killing. At this point we need to refer to Banquo who also encounters the witches, and their prophecies. It is the reaction to these prophecies which provides the starkest contrasts between him and Macbeth. He sees how dangerous such prophecies might be, "what can the devil speak true?" and how they might 'win us to our harm'. He resists the temptation to do evil, whereas Macbeth is tempted immediately by the witches' words, "If chance will have me king, why chance may crown without any stir." Macbeth's first words, "so foul and fair a day I have not seen" echo the witches words, and suggest he is already in tune with their way of thinking. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's tragedies, and as illustrated above, no one is solely responsible for the killing of king Duncan, although some may be more to blame than others. My opinion is that lady Macbeth is mostly to blame because, she has manipulated Macbeth in to it so much, he has had not much choice at all. ...read more.

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