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Was lady Macbeth to blame for the death of King Duncan?

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Introduction

Was lady Macbeth to blame for the death of King Duncan? At the beginning of the play, Scotland is engaged in battle with the Norwegians and Scotland, lead by king Duncan is on the verge of winning. King Duncan is kind, noble and well respected. The only bad quality that he has is that her is too trusting and puts his trust in people who are likely to betray him like the Thane of Cawdor and, later in the story, Macbeth. Macbeth begins the play as a brave warrior who is looked up to by those who know him. But by the end of the play Macbeth has killed the king and is hated by the people of Scotland. In this essay I will look at the reasons for Duncan's premature death and whether Macbeth was the only one to blame or whether he was driven to murder by his wife Lady Macbeth. I will also examine other possible influences. The first characters we meet in the play are the three witches. ...read more.

Middle

That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'er leap For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires Let not light see my black and deep desires" He knows that his ambitions are 'dark' and he should not be thinking such things. Lady Macbeth's reaction to the witches' predictions, as explained in Macbeths letter to her are in complete contrast. She has no thoughts about whether the prophecy is good or bad. She immediately starts thinking of a plot to make it come true. However she knows her husband is a honourable and loyal man. "Yet I do fear thy nature; It is too full o' th milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way" She knows that Duncan is coming to stay which provides them with the ideal opportunity for the murder to take place. However she knows that to talk Macbeth into this she will need to use all her powers of persuasion. ...read more.

Conclusion

In act two scene one, Macbeth approaches the king's bedroom, to commit the regicide, he hallucinates, seeing a dagger before him. This shows us the stress he is under but goes through with the killing because of his promise to his wife. On the other hand Lady Macbeth, who has been so strong whilst plotting the murder, begins to show emotion "Had he not resembled, My father as he slept, I had done't" I don't think that Lady Macbeth was to blame mainly for the death of king Duncan. I think the witches were partly to blame because they put the idea of becoming king into Macbeth's head. They awoke ambition that Macbeth might not have even realised he had. It seems to me, that he told his wife of the witches' predictions because he needed her strength to help him commit the murder. Lady Macbeth may have persuaded him to kill Duncan but he could have stopped at any time. I therefore think that Macbeth was mainly to blame. ...read more.

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