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To What Extent Can Macbeth Be Defended For The Murder Of Duncan?

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Introduction

English Essay To What Extent Can Macbeth Be Defended For The Murder Of Duncan? The play Macbeth was written by English playwright William Shakespeare around 1605. It is about the supernatural, internal conflicts and the much used "killing of the King" plot. It is centred on the struggle within Macbeth's mind between good and evil. The play aroused considerable interest at the time when it was written because of the public's belief in witchcraft and strong religious feelings, and because killing a king was considered the worst crime possible as the belief was he was appointed by God to rule divinely. Macbeth is a Scottish nobleman who is a great warrior, and, at the beginning of the play has just won a battle. He has the trust of the Scottish king, Duncan, but after hearing a prophecy he becomes convinced that he will be king and decides that the only solution is murder. Although Macbeth is clearly guilty of Duncan's murder, to what extent can he be defended for his actions? There are other factors present in the play around Macbeth that influence and incite him to commit the murder, the witches, his colleagues, even his own wife who puts a lot of pressure on him, there is also the continuous struggle in Macbeth's mind between good and evil and right and wrong. ...read more.

Middle

His own personal reasons against the murder are described in lines 1-28, "He's here in double trust: First as I am his kinsman and subject, Strong both against the deed; then as his host, Who should against the murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself." In these lines twelve to sixteen Macbeth is saying that it would be wrong to kill Duncan because they are related, he is his subject and because a host's duty is to provide a safe bed and protection. Macbeth has realised these reasons that we have already observed. "Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against The deep damnation of his taking-off;" "Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, That tears shall drown the wind." Macbeth thinks, in lines twenty to twenty-five, that because Duncan has been such a good and divine king killing him will be such a terrible deed that all throughout the natural and human world grief will be felt. He also realises that he must be judged on Earth and made to pay for his crimes and even if all goes well, the murder could come back to haunt him, line ten, "To plague the inventors." ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth knew what he was doing was wrong but went ahead anyway, he also seemed to be aware of the consequences of the murder would be. He had several chances to drop the whole thing, for example, when Duncan appointed Malcolm as the Prince of Cumberland in act one, scene four Macbeth should have realised that the witches' prophecies should be left to chance, and after he had taken time to think about it in scene seven he could have proceeded no further on the business. But when Macbeth tried to reconsider the dark ambitions inside of him made him continue with their feelings of jealousy and pride. His evil side created the dagger in front of him in act two, scene one that led him to Duncan's room and made him cast aside his doubts and do as his wife said. Pity can only be given to Macbeth for going against what was right, being caught up in a nightmare of emotions and killing the person who trusted him the most and who he was supposed to protect and be loyal to. End ...read more.

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