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

To what extent is it fair to place the main blame for the murder of Duncan on Macbeth?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

JAMES MARSHALL 1/2/01 English Essay: Shakespeare To what extent is it fair to place the main blame for the murder of Duncan on Macbeth? It is obvious that Macbeth did actually kill Duncan, but is Macbeth really to blame for his actions? There are many other factors to take into account. One reason for Macbeth's actions is that he was under a lot of pressure from other people and changes in his life. Also there maybe a supernatural element to take into account for the killing of Duncan by Macbeth, which may have influenced Macbeth's decisions. There also maybe of coarse, no-body else that could have influenced Macbeth and just Macbeth himself. Or maybe all of the different pressures and influences combined together, making one mass attack on Macbeth's mind. The blame for the murder of Duncan could be placed on anyone's shoulders, but who do we blame specifically? Do we blame Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, The Three Witches, or was it the atmosphere and society of the 11th century? The most obvious person to blame for the murder of Duncan is Macbeth. This is because he actually took hold of the knife and stabbed Duncan. Therefore he should be and feel responsible for the murder. ...read more.

Middle

So Macbeth decided to kill Duncan himself, to make the prophecy come true. He was greedy, because the witches forced Macbeth into killing Duncan through temptation. But, Macbeth could have backed out at any point along the road to the murder. Lady Macbeth influenced Macbeth by putting so much pressure onto Macbeth to kill Duncan, to give her and Macbeth a better life. Macbeth gets pushed around by her, and does whatever she tells him to. This may have caused Macbeth to murder Duncan, but again, Macbeth could have backed out at any point. Lady Macbeth first finds out about The Witches prophecies when he writes her a letter. He writes this letter because he knows he needs somebody to push him to kill Duncan. She drives him to the crown, and therefore acts as a catalyst to Macbeth. She bullies his and uses emotional blackmail against him. She knows that he has good positive morals, and so she has to push him. She ridicules him by saying: 'When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man.' This basically means that when he dared to do it, then he was a man. This is insulting towards Macbeth, because she knows he is a warrior and is mocking his bravery. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, The Witches obviously aren't bluffing about their power, because they then hovered off, which is a tricky thing to do if you aren't a witch. This proves their power and their strength for the rest of the play. We fist get an idea of what the atmosphere is like in 11th century Scotland when Macbeth and Banquo appear. Macbeth says: 'So foul and fair a day I have not seen.' There is a contradiction here, because a day cannot be foul and fair at the same time. But what he may mean is that the weather is bad, but because of the victory over the Norwegians, it has made his day good. Perhaps The Witches made the weather bad with their evil presence. In the 11th century, it was not unusual for highly respected people to get murdered, so that other people could climb higher up the ranks. Macbeth may have just been following the custom of that time. The atmosphere of the 11th century is evidently that of an evil, brutal place. I conclude that Macbeth should take the main blame for the murder of Duncan. He actually committed the murder and let ambition and greed rule him, despite knowing the consequences. I think that the other three factors are less important, but acted as catalysts, working alongside the main factor. If the other three factors were taken away, then the murder would have still occurred, but not as quickly. ...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. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    'Though you untie the winds and let them fight against the churches; though the yesty waves'. Secondly, I must investigate whether or not Macbeth would have caused such huge destruction had it not been for the intervention of the

  2. How can blame be apportioned in “Macbeth”?

    But his encounter with the witches awakens in him a deep impatient ambition. Immediately after the first prophecy of being Thane of Cawdor becomes true the "horrid image" of the murder of King Duncan in order to become king himself crosses his mind.

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

    All hail Macbeth, hail thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth, hail thee, king hereafter!" They also say three things to Banquo, "lesser than Macbeth, and greater not so happy, and yet much happier. Thou shalt get kings, thou be none.

  2. Fair is foul, and foul is fair'

    After the battle at the beginning of the play where Macbeth is fighting the Norwegians, him and Banquo pass three witches. As Macbeth sees them his first comment is So foul and fair a day I have not seen. He is saying, because he has seen them he has not seen a worse day.

  1. "To what extent is it fair to place the main blame for the murder ...

    However, even at this early stage of the play one is tempted to ask whether Macbeth is indeed a valiant hero or in fact a brutal killer, having been able to kill Macdonwald in such a brutal manner, "Unseamed him from the nave to th' chops And fixed his head upon the battlements."

  2. Who was too blame for the murder of King Duncan?

    done to this' lines 54-59 she says that she would rather batter her child's brains out just after it has suckled from her. This shows how far she wishes to go to reach her ambition. The witches are also to blame for putting the ideas and aspirations into Macbeth's head.

  1. Who was mainly to blame for the murder of Duncan?

    She is determined to help Macbeth become King, and when he returns with King Duncan, who is staying with them overnight, she persuades Macbeth to kill the King. Shakspeare potrays Macbeth's castle as a place of safety to Duncan and Banquo, by telling the reader that it is a place where Martlets build their nests.

  2. Fair is foul and foul is fair

    If the witches would have told Macbeth that king would cost him killing his best friend Banquo who give him the best advice when he said "Were such things here as we do speak or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?"

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