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Macbeth : Who was responsible for King Duncans murder?

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English Coursework Ayesha Mufti 10a Macbeth Who is responsible for King Duncan's murder? In my opinion, there are three main people that should be held responsible for the death of King Duncan: Lady Macbeth, the witches and of course, Macbeth himself. In this essay, I will be looking at the three people and how they each played a role to cause the death of Duncan. Firstly, I think that Lady Macbeth was hugely to blame. We see that both husband and wife are highly ambitious and hope to achieve a lot. Macbeth trusts Lady Macbeth and is very close to her. He informs her straight away of his meeting with the witches through a letter in which he also calls her his 'dearest partner of greatness'. This shows us that they are close and are partners or colleagues in everything. As soon as Lady Macbeth reads the letter, she is already making plans to achieve Macbeth's title as the King and hers as the Queen. We see this when she says 'That I may pour my spirits in thine ear/And chastise with the valour of my tongue'. This could give away a hint of evil in her to us. In addition, we see that she fears that Macbeth is too kind to achieve it. This means that she is already thinking that there is dirty work involved and Macbeth is too incapable of doing it. ...read more.


The witches know when to appear, and purposely appear at the right moments to play on Macbeth's conscience and manipulate him to do things. They know exactly how and when to enter so that the most amount of tension and dramatic effect is created at the right times. Shakespeare uses the witches very carefully to create the right dramatic effects and moods. When being performed in the Globe Theatre, there were no special effects or any dramatic lighting to create atmospheres. So, Shakespeare used stagecraft and the entrances of the witches to get the audience to feel the tension. Also, on their first meeting, the witches leave Macbeth and Banquo confused. They give unsteady prophecies about Banquo, contrasting against each other. They also seem to know what Macbeth is thinking at all times, to make themselves more powerful in the eyes of Macbeth and use him to create all the havoc. In addition, I think that some people could argue that the witches are entirely to blame because they are so powerful supernaturally, that a normal person like Macbeth would have no control over himself if the witches were ruling him. Their main motive is to create havoc, and Macbeth seems to be the easiest way to do so. Therefore, we could say that he is pulled into their evil plans and it's not at all his fault. However, some people contradict this and say that the witches were not sparking any havoc, but rather telling and informing Macbeth of the events to come. ...read more.


He had power over his actions and when committing the crime, he should have been prepared for the consequences of his actions. Aside from the above arguments, I also think there are two other people to blame. They are Banquo and Duncan himself. Although they do not play as big as a role as the other people do, they still hold some blame. Banquo had suspicions of Macbeth but failed to do anything. He knew what Macbeth was thinking and knew he was up to something, but didn't take any action and was so killed. Although Banquo's motive may not have been to get the king killed, he still didn't do anything about it. In those times, loyalty to your king was very important. It came before anything. Therefore, we could argue that Banquo had more loyalty toward his friend than toward his King, who should actually come first. In this way, Banquo is partly to blame. I also think that Duncan is to blame because he is too much of a trusting man. He only comes to stay with Macbeth with two bodyguards. Macbeth, who isn't even King, has more bodyguards than the King. Also, the King is too na�ve and vulnerable. Maybe it would have been better that Macbeth was the King because he would be a firm ruler, not a push-over like Duncan. Overall, I think that Macbeth is mainly to blame because at the end of the day, Macbeth did the crime and he went ahead with the plan. We see him change from a good, noble man to a cruel, harsh, evil man. ...read more.

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