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Responsibility for the murder of King Duncan?

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Which character do you consider to hold the most responsibility for the murder of King Duncan? Macbeth or Lady Macbeth It is hard to decide which of the two characters, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth, holds the most responsibility for the murder of King Duncan, as it is possible to think of both of them being equally to blame. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both very ambitious characters and this will be looked at in this essay as part of the analysis of their contribution to Duncan's murder. This essay will show how Lady Macbeth continuously influences Macbeth and Macbeth follows her every instruction. My essay will discuss both characters' involvement and it will determine which one is the most culpable for King Duncan's death. My first point will look at how Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to continue developing the plan for King Duncan's demise. The first time that we see Lady Macbeth playing a part in the murder, is her reaction to the content of Macbeth's letter. Immediately after reading the letter her initial decision is that, Macbeth must become king and she shows great determination, this can be supported with: "and shalt be / What thou art promised;" Merely a short time later Lady Macbeth says, "To catch the nearest way." ...read more.


Hell is also described as being torturous and burning, so "smoke of hell" is very evil language that Lady Macbeth uses. Then when Lady Macbeth hears of King Duncan's arrival, she does not think of preparations for his stay but of his death: "He brings great news." Her murderous plot can now continue, and we also see that Lady Macbeth is unwilling to let destiny take its course and wants to make her own future. This thought continues through the whole play up until the final point where the murder is committed, which can be seen when she says, "I feel now the future in the instant." Macbeth also wants to make his own destiny and shows his first thought of murder when he says, "My thought, whose murder" This is halfway through Macbeth's speech having just met the three witches, and Macbeth thinks of killing Duncan again when saying, "Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair." This idea has not been put into Macbeth's mind by anyone other than himself. Macbeth becomes very confused and disorientated in his understanding of what is right and what is wrong, shown when he says, "This supernatural soliciting / Cannot be ill cannot be good." ...read more.


walk," As Macbeth leaves to commit the murder his last words are, "Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell / That summons thee to heaven or to hell." Here Macbeth is cold, determined and purposeful, and Macbeth does not show any doubt as he leaves to carry out the deed at the end of the soliloquy. This essay clearly shows which character is most responsible for the demise of Duncan. Evidently Lady Macbeth is responsible in the way that she was determined at all times and only had one momentary doubt throughout the whole play. Looking at the consequences after the murder, Lady Macbeth does go on to kill herself. This illustrates that Lady Macbeth regrets the decision that she made and that she bears the guilt of the murder. In contrast to this Macbeth committed the crime without any doubt even though he had doubted before he was coerced to continue with the murder. Having murdered once Macbeth continued to murder, seeming to have acquired a taste for it, supplying us with the evidence that Macbeth was more responsible for the murder, due to his actually carrying out the deed and continuing to murder other innocent parties without a second thought. 15th March 2004 Emily Tiernan ...read more.

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