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"Macbeth kills the king due to pressure from external influences" Discuss

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"Macbeth kills the king due to pressure from external influences" Discuss. We are asked to discuss whether or not Macbeth was influenced by external influences when he carried out the act of killing King Duncan. We must look at the different influential characters. At the start of the play, Macbeth is described as "brave Macbeth". Even the King calls him "o valiant cousin" and "worthy gentleman", showing the close relationship Macbeth and the King shared on both a personal and professional level. It is pretty clear then that Macbeth's character was very loyal, noble and trustworthy. Every comment said about him is good, and we expect a hero. Others around him have high opinions of his character. That's why the turnaround in his character it is a complete surprise at during act 1, and we are right to believe that this is largely due to pressure from external influences. The first major influences are the three witches. In act 1, scene 1, the witches mention Macbeths name- "there to meet Macbeth". This shows that maybe they have a plan. At this point in time they have yet to meet him, yet they acknowledge him. This undoubtedly shows that they certainly know of Macbeth, even before the meeting on the heath. ...read more.


She knows how to persuade her husband, and is preparing herself to persuade him by the only way she knows, murder. She knows her husband too well "Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it" and "I do fear thy nature, it is too full o'th'milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way" She is more than aware that her husband has great ambition, and that he wants great things, but does not want to do anything about it. The comments she makes states her ambition. Some may argue that her ambition is purely for her husband, but she over-steps the mark in her following comments - "chastise with the valour of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round" - she wants to take all the goodness out of Macbeth so nothing will hold him back from killing the King. Is this her ambition being brought to the surface through her husband? Then she calls on evil to "unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty"...."stop up th'access and passage to remorse that no compunctions visitings of nature shake my fell purpose nor keep peace between th'effect and it." ...read more.


This is a repeat of the witches influence. This is shown clearly in line 49, "The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, for in my way it lies." - he is definitely contemplating the murder of Malcolm at this point, without any persuasion from anyone else. "Let light not see my black and deep desires" - this shows effect the witches word have on him. If he was as brave as everyone made out, and that he really did not want to kill Duncan and was happy with his position in Scotland, then he would have been able to stand up to Lady Macbeth. He must have wanted it, Lady Macbeth was just the final push.. In my opinion, I think that Macbeth's killing the king was largely due to pressure from external influences. However, I think that to actually commit the deed, Macbeth must have secretly wanted to be King. He held the dagger in his hands and committed the deed, and we have proved that Macbeth was certainly linked with evil from the very beginning. Therefore, my conclusion is that yes Macbeth was pressurised and indeed influenced, but at the end of the day, he held the dagger in his hand and committed the awful deed totally by himself. ...read more.

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