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

To what extent do you judge Lady Macbeth to be solely responsible for the assassination of Duncan?

Extracts from this document...


Written in 1606 Macbeth was first performed at court depicting the fall of a great man. But his fall can be interpreted by some as not being entirely of his own accord, but also the actions of others who influenced him, one such example being the Lady Macbeth. The question is to what extent is Lady Macbeth accountable for the murder, but other characters may also be held responsible. The opening of the play reflects a never-ending theme throughout: the gloomy setting, where no light seems to shine through the clouds at any point during the performance. The first speaking part of Lady Macbeth is a soliloquy reflecting the setting of the entire play. This individual is described as knowing her husband very well, instantly echoing what her husband says previously in the play. What evolves is her deep, dark nature, describing her willingness to make sure that her husband achieves greatness, calling on evil spirits to 'unsex me here'; this vile image which Shakespeare creates is one of sadistic nature, almost liking to the earlier witches where their judgement of right and wrong has been impaired. The Lady later adds that she wants the spirits to 'take my milk for gall'; another horrid image whereupon the wickedness of her being is revealed to the audience. ...read more.


Furthermore, it can be said that the Lady could make have influence Macbeth to make this decision to eliminate Duncan's power, but Macbeth had an equal or larger part to play in the beginning of a tale of greed. He would have not needed a lot of drive from his wife to make his decision, as shown in Act 1 Scene 4. Here, Macbeth refers back to the theme of the whole play, asking for the light not to let people 'see black and deep desires'; he is known here that he does not need to someone else to drive him to strike Duncan, for it is what lies within him which led himself to decide he wants to get the throne by force under the new circumstances. However, not so much earlier on in the play, Macbeth is also depicted as having a clouded judgement and needing someone to help him understand, with his own conclusion coming to something where 'If chance will have me King, why chance may crown me Without my stir.' These lines tell the audience that Macbeth has no problem in becoming King if he does not need to inflict any harm upon any other body. ...read more.


Additionally, Act 2 Scene 2 is a very important scene to show the Lady's derision towards Macbeth when he hasn't performed the deed to plan. 'Go get some water' is a key line, with 'Go' being in the imperative and shows that she is very much in control and has once again made Macbeth seem mentally weak, even after performing a physically strong act. It is known that the Lady Macbeth is a very prominent character, and the level of dialogue used by Shakespeare to portray her sinister character is strewn across the late Act 1 and earlier Act 2 with various literary devices to help associate a seemingly harmless character to Duncan's eyes as the person with the most responsibility upon her shoulders. The extent is a very large one, but it is nevertheless also important to recognise the determination that Macbeth has lying not far from the surface and just a push from his wife made the assault inevitable to prove himself to his wife. ?? ?? ?? ?? Name: Matthew Chew Form: 10P Set: 2 Date: 14th November 2009 Title: To what extent do you judge Lady Macbeth to be solely responsible for the assassination of Duncan? Text: Macbeth 1 ...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?

    at all, and she has not the imagination to predict any difficulty in carrying out the plan and getting away with it. There are no full stops in Lady Macbeth's description of her tactics, which would indicate two things. She wants to tell Macbeth quickly, before he can change his

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

    with a desire to kill the king, and also have seen a part that feels that if it is his destiny, then the crowning will happen by its own accord. The audience have seen the loyal, strong Macbeth and they have also seen the plotting, treacherous Macbeth.

  1. How far is Macbeth solely responsible for his own downfall?

    detail exactly what they shall do, as if talking to a child. She encourages him saying, " What cannot you and I perform upon Th'unguarded Duncan?" She obviously has a great impact on him as he says afterwards "... Bring forth men children only, For thy undaunted mettle should compose Nothing but males."

  2. How do the Witches in Macbeth Reflect contemporary ideas of witchcraft? Are the Witches ...

    Call 'em, let me see 'em" The first two lines is the witch asking if Macbeth would rather hear his future from the witches or from their masters'. Macbeth invites these masters in. This describes Macbeth's comfort in this underworld.

  1. Show How Shakespear Presents Dramatically the Process By Which Macbeth Comes To the Decision ...

    In Act 1, Scene 3, The three Witches describe themselves as fore-tellers of destiny, and they all introduce themselves to Macbeth and Banquo as "The weird sisters, hand in hand". The expression "weird sisters", used from the 1400's, means "Fatal sisters" and the word "weird" was a noun meaning Fate.

  2. To What Extent is Lady Macbeth responsible for her Husband's Assassination of King Duncan?

    Macbeth and Banquo stumble upon three mysterious Witches. They all deliver predictions of the future; they predict that Macbeth will soon become Thane of Cawdor and then finally King. When <Macbeth is told of these predictions his initial reaction is one of fear and interest.

  1. Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    The witches set the trigger for Macbeth who told his wife and this chain of events ultimately led to Duncan's death. They are, therefore certainly partly responsible for his death as they arouse Macbeth's strong lust for power. Duncan is obviously a deficient judge of character as we can see

  2. 'Discuss the view that the witches are solely responsible for Macbeth's descent into evil'.

    From the very start of the play the witches are introduced in Act 1 Scene 1. This is to get the audiences attention has they are fascinated by the witches and so they will be kept interested throughout the play.

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