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Responsibility of Macbeth's Death

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Who Can Be Held Most Responsible for Duncan's Murder: The Witches, Lady Macbeth or Macbeth Himself? In this essay I will investigate who is most responsible for King Duncan's murder; Macbeth, Lady Macbeth or the three witches. Macbeth was written in 1608 and it is based on a strong soldier who was brave, noble and ambitious. You could say that he was too ambitious as his ambition drove him to his own death. Macbeth was a supreme soldier who was smart enough to make his own independent choices; instead he was influenced by several other characters in the play which had brought him down to his knees in failure. Macbeth was written due to a new infatuation of theatres in London in 1608 and throughout the century. During that time the world was swarmed with issues and rumours of the presence of witches which King James I had strong enthusiasm for. Shakespeare included a group of witches in Macbeth seeing as how strongly they were believed in at that period of time. Witches were thought to have extraordinary powers, one of them being able to see the future. And this was applied in Macbeth. And precisely at that point is where Macbeth's downfall began. He was told that he was taking the place of king at some point in his life; being a trustworthy and noble soldier, the idea of murder was not expected from him at any circumstances. ...read more.


"Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe full of direst cruelty: make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse...." Lady Macbeth learns from the letter from Macbeth of the Three Witches' prophecies for her husband and eagerly embraces them as fact. Fearing Macbeth is too compassionate and weak-hearted to do what needs to be done, killing Duncan. She famously asks the gods to remove from her all signs of compassion and feminism, replacing them with cold remorseless ruthlessness. She is willing to have the power of a man so she can do what Macbeth can't because she is far more cold hearted than Macbeth will ever be. Macbeth arrives and Lady Macbeth already tells Macbeth to appear innocent like a flower but to be "the serpent under". She advises him to leave the evening to her care and exclaims that King Duncan will not see tomorrow. Macbeth says they will speak further on the issue. Lady Macbeth's plan is to treat King Duncan like a royal guest that he is. Yet that's what they are appearing to be, but Lady Macbeth bullies Macbeth into murdering him, by using his manhood as a goal that he has to reach. She does this by saying... "Then you durst do it, then you were a man" Keeping in mind the fact that he is overly ambitious so he is tempted to do as she says. ...read more.


This means that Macbeth did it with stealth and success. Macbeth was nervous and when two men in the adjoining room cried, "Murder!" and later "God bless us!" Macbeth could not reply "Amen," as the other man did. Interpreted as a symbolic act of the fact that Macbeth no longer sees himself connected to God or on the side of good. In conclusion we know that the witches had no actions in King Duncan's murder. Maybe they had something planned but we have no proof so they are not to blame. Lady Macbeth on the other hand played a big part in King Duncan's murder. She manipulated Macbeth into lunging that dagger, and she did not stop him once to let him think about his own independent choices and what he would prefer to do. Lady Macbeth had continuously kept stuffing thoughts of murder into his head and constant reasons for doing it. However, Macbeth is a superior warrior who has independent choices to make and is still in control of his decisions. Even though he was influenced by his wife who had a large part to play in Duncan's murder, Macbeth never had to include murder in his up-rise in power. If he would just let time take its own affect over him, he would have become king with no guilty conscience on him. Even after he was charged as guilty for the murders he did not attempt to reverse his actions in any way, and he doesn't offer anything to make up for mistakes which in the end, brought him down to his knees in failure. ...read more.

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