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To What Extent Was Macbeth Responsible For the Death of King Duncan?

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To what extent was Macbeth responsible for the death of King Duncan? Amit Singh 9Pna IGCSE English MEM Declaration Of Word Count: 1,264 (excluding title and name) It is without question true that the death of King Duncan in the physical aspect is Macbeth's fault, and he in fact can be deemed fully responsible. However this particular question poses one of many different replies that all intertwine with one another and can perhaps explain the murder of King Duncan. But to state how responsible one was on behalf of his motives two primary issues must be considered. Firstly, the definition of responsibility must be clarified, what does responsibility mean? In this instance, to be responsible is to be held accounted for ones actions, either morally, legally, mentally or physically. Also the following important factors must be taken into consideration, which is what will be the foundation of this essay. - The three witches corrupted Macbeth's mind and thoughts. - Lady Macbeth manipulated Macbeth's heart. - Macbeth was fully responsible, ignoring his conscience. The three witches corrupted Macbeth's mind and thoughts. The witches in the play are seen as the great evil, considered to be lower than that of a peasant. ...read more.


Yet he feels that Lady Macbeth is too gentle and soft a person to be involved in a crime of this extent, that she wants greatness, but lacks the ruthlessness that is required. Macbeth's letter: "Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou'ldst have..." (Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 18-21) However she soon proves him wrong, and upon his return she devises a plan to murder the King. But in the process she not only abuses and bullies Macbeth, she blackmails him and attacks his emotions. Claming he's weak and feeble. Knowing he is a great warrior, and carries a heavy manly presence she begins to play further mind games with him and mocks his courage and bravery, questioning his manhood. Driving him to the edge. Lady Macbeth: "And live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would', Like the poor cat i'th'adage?" (Act 1 Scene 7 Lines 41-44) Here she is saying that Macbeth is a self-confessed coward, claiming that "he'd like to do it" but "he dare not." ...read more.


(Act 1 Scene 7 Lines 10-16) What he is saying here is that, Duncan relies and trusts Macbeth, and as previously mentioned because he has done no wrong he should not be murdered. Also he being the host should be preventing the murder to such a man as opposed to carry the knife that is to kill him. This once again indicates yet another thing, Macbeth's ever present conscience and his reluctance to listen to it. Macbeth was always aware of the consequence, but never chose to accept them. It began with a simple story, turning into a plan, and eventually a murder. All at which he could've stopped and prevented at any given time. But he refused to. Instead he allowed Lady Macbeth to control him, and block out the purity in his thoughts and conscience. Through this the most sinful crime of the Elizabethan age was committed, regicide. But Macbeth's constant strive for success was achieved. Because of all the following points, various things can be determined. Macbeth was indeed fully responsible for the murder of King Duncan, as he had many occasions to stop it. And as for Lady Macbeth and the witches, they played a subtler role. All they did was speed the chain of reaction up. They didn't cause it. And they couldn't stop it. ...read more.

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