• 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 Macbeth responsible for King Duncan's death?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is Macbeth responsible for King Duncan's death? In the tragedy of Macbeth there seems to be only one real threat to the King - Macbeth himself. Though as you will eventually come to realize, Macbeth is the least of Duncan's worries... The Witches The fact that we are introduced to the witches in the very first scene must have significance, as I have noticed from other Shakespeare plays, such as a Midsummer Night's Dream, that Shakespeare often inserts characters at strategic moments for a very good reason. The witches are also the main catalyst for Macbeth's actions towards the King, as they are the people who first gave Macbeth ideas of grandeur; "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!" "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!" "All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter." (Act one Scene three) I get the impression that the witches are almost against the King and therefore against the natural order of events. This is important in answering the question 'To what extent is Macbeth responsible...' ...read more.

Middle

(Act one Scene five) Lady Macbeth is now super-charged with evil and she releases this on the next person she meets, who, unfortunately, is Macbeth. She manages to unleash so much murderous potential that Macbeth is bullied into false agreement, while he is attempting to gather his thoughts. Another point at which Lady Macbeth is forced to use her powers of persuasion is in Act one Scene seven. Macbeth starts the scene with a lengthy soliloquy of his own. He lists all the points why he couldn't kill the king, they are; 1. The consequences of murder, especially of high treason. 2. Macbeth is Duncan's host and his loyal subject. 3. The King is much loved by his Kingdom. 4. To kill the King would be going against the natural order. 5. Macbeth claims to have no 'spur' for the murder. We already know that Lady Macbeth is the main 'spur' for Duncan's murder, but Macbeth is a little slow on the up-take. This forces Lady Macbeth to break cover and tell Macbeth directly that the murder is a good thing. ...read more.

Conclusion

The nature of a tragedy The nature of a tragedy is important in discovering how responsible Macbeth is for Duncan's murder. In Macbeth the tragedy is of how Macbeth himself could have been a force for good, and become the King's 'right-hand man'. All was well at the start and was set to continue, until the three witches appeared and upset the natural order of events. This intern set off a chain reaction resulting in the destruction of Macbeth. It started with Macbeth's ambition, then Lady Macbeth's ambition. It rapidly turned into desire and there would be no turning back. After the murder, Lady Macbeth's feelings turned towards guilt, which caused her to commit suicide. Around the same time Macbeth experienced three apparitions which made him stronger until Macduff uttered these words; "Despair thy charm, And let the angel whom thou still hast served Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb Untimely ripped." (Act five Scene seven) To conclude, Macbeth was indeed responsible for the physical murder of Duncan, and there is no disputing that. However, the lead up to Duncan's murder was fraught with indecision on Macbeth's part, and it could be any or all of the points discussed above which caused Macbeth to finally commit the murder. 2 ...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. Who do you think is responsible for the death of king Duncan?

    but these warriors are nothing compared to the taunts that Macbeth's wife makes when he doesn't want carry out the murder. Although King Duncan himself obviously didn't want to be murdered he played quite a big role in his own murder.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his own downfall?

    Eve is the dominant one, who eats the apple; Lady Macbeth is dominant as she takes control.

  1. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    The last few lines of the scene, signify the state of Scotland, 'May soon return to this our suffering country, Under a hand accursed'. (III, vi) shows the contrast between Scotland and England and emphasises the evil that has swept Scotland.

  2. Who is most responsible for the death of king Duncan?

    Finally they show him an apparition of a line of kings (link to Banquos earlier prophecy). 'Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo: down! Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls. And thy hair, Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first. A third is like the former. Filthy hags!

  1. English Macbeth coursework-Is the supernatural wholly responsible for the tragedy that occurs or is ...

    For all Lady Macbeth's evil words she still has some sort of conscience, as she can't commit the murder herself. She is not as evil as she would like and maybe the evil spirits didn't remove all of her soft gentle side.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his own downfall?

    your approach; So humbly take my leave" this is what he announces to King Duncan after he returns from battle. Macbeth writes a letter to Lady Macbeth informing her of the witches' predictions, she knows of her husband's ambition but thinks that he is too kind and caring.

  1. Who is most responsible for the death of King Duncan and how would you ...

    However, she thinks that Macbeth is too humane to murder, as well as striving to be noble, courageous, and to do the right thing: "What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature, it is too full o'th' milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way..."

  2. Who was the driving force behind the murdur of duncan?

    The way she refuses the witch could be because of the way the witch asked for the nut. Yet the witch seems to see this as her being greedy, her referring to the way the women was eating the nuts: 'And munch'd, and munch'd, and munch'd' gives an image of her constantly eating simultaneously one after another.

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