• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Responsibility for the murder of King Duncan?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    Macbeth is a man of conscience and a man of imagination. He knew that if he was to kill the king he would have to receive some kind of punishment, though he went ahead with it anyway.

  2. How is Macbeth persuaded to kill Duncan: Is his wife entirely to blame?

    Macbeth and Lady Macbeth act very distressed, though the audience will feel that Macbeth is the only one of the two who is not putting on a two-faced show. Macbeth, in this madness, kills the guards who were to be accused of killing the king.

  1. What contribution do the Witches make to the play Macbeth?

    By destroying the body of Scotland the Witches would succeed in their ultimate aim of creating a hell on Earth. The imagery of disease and medicine continues throughout the play, especially towards the end of Macbeth's reign. Malcolm sees the attack on Macbeth as being a cure of the `deadly

  2. In Shakespeare's "Macbeth", which character or characters bear most responsibility for the death of ...

    This demonstrates that even a hero must be subjected to temptation ("and euen some of the best, that their patience may bee tryed before the world"). Though the witches are malevolent, they could possibly be instruments of God (rather than the Devil as suggested in Act 3 Scene 5, where

  1. Why did Macbeth murder Duncan? Examine the various influences upon this murder and suggest ...

    She influences Macbeth greatly in committing the deed. In Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth struggle's with his conscience, "We will proceed no further in this business." When Lady Macbeth hears this she uses all her strength to get him to not back out of the murder. Lady Macbeth starts by mocking Macbeth, "to look so green and pale"

  2. Is Macbeth morally responsible for the murder of Duncan?

    Then Macbeth arrives ' A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come.' The witches talk in riddle and rhyme to confuse. Just before Macbeth and Banquo reach the witches Macbeth utters a line that is in the riddle just how the witches speak.

  1. Lady Macbeth - Is Lady Macbeth Responsible for the evils of Macbeth?

    Make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake fell my purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it!

  2. Who Do You Blame For The Murder Of Duncan.

    Now I have run through the play up to the murder I'm going to examine Lady Macbeth's, Macbeth and the witches part in the murder starting with the witches. In the seventeenth century people were very suspicious, they believed in all sorts of supernatural things especially witches.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work