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Who Is Most To Blame For The Act Of Regicide In ‘Macbeth’?

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Introduction

Who Is Most To Blame For The Act Of Regicide In 'Macbeth'? In this play, Macbeth, we can easily jump to conclusions about who was most to blame for the act of regicide whilst we read it without giving the question the consideration that it deserves at all. In this essay, I will try to give the reader a fair and accurate view of all of the events leading to the death of King Duncan, and the death of good over evil for a short while. At the start of 'Macbeth', the 'weird sisters' introduce the supernatural theme. The first indication that all is not as it seems is when the 'weird sisters' chant "fair is foul and foul is fair" which suggests uncertainty, either now or in the future. From this speech we gain the impression that all will not be as it seems. Scene two is in stark contrast to the foremost scene of the play. Here we learn of a brave hero, Macbeth, a valiant and inspiring warrior. Overall, the character of Macbeth is portrayed in the second scene as a man who would not even contemplate killing the king. A captain describes Macbeth in a glowing report to the king using words such as "valiant", "noble", "worthy" and "a peerless kinsman" which helps the audience gain a favourable impression of Macbeth. Another section of the captain's speech describes Macbeth's valour: "For Brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name- Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel Which smoked with bloody execution" From this speech and other points during the report, the audience learns that Macbeth is a ruthless warrior who draws spirit and strength in the heart of the battle when danger is at its utmost. ...read more.

Middle

In scene three, it seems that Macbeth made a similar decision when he said: "If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me Without my stir" This means that insanity cannot be blamed for the act of regicide as Macbeth looks at the all of the facts and decides rather than ignoring the negative aspect altogether. After battling with his conscience, he decides to withdraw from the evil deed. When Lady Macbeth hears that Macbeth no longer wants to participate in the murder of the king, she makes a speech that is to decide the future of Macbeth and finally push him to the 'evil' side: "I have given suck and know how Tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums And dashed his brains out, had I had so sworn As you have done to this" During this speech, she makes Macbeth realise that he has thought about performing the deed and planned it so much that they cannot turn back. She makes Macbeth feel guilty that a hardened soldier who "unseamed" soldiers "from the nave to th' chaps" becoming lenient. She even hints that Macbeth is showing signs of cowardice. It is that speech that spurs on Macbeth to do the evil deed and therefore makes Lady Macbeth take a significant proportion of the blame. She seems to seek out what she would regard as Macbeth's strong points, and draw upon them. Duncan seems to have unwittingly aided Macbeth's decision when he made his speech about his eldest son, Malcolm: "We will establish our estate upon Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter The Prince of Cumberland" This speech seems to make ...read more.

Conclusion

To Jacobeans the supernatural powers were no different than what we would call 'miracles' and bestow the gratitude on 'God' as the Jacobeans did with witches, only they blamed them for unpleasant events. The evil spirits could be blamed for the act of regicide as they twisted his mind to that of a callous slayer. There is not much textual evidence to support this claim. One of the few examples occurs in act four, scene one when the witches say: "Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him" This lulls Macbeth into a false sense of security along with the speech: "for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth." There is no evidence that evil spirits influence Macbeth anyone as the witches only predict the future. If the evil spirits did control Macbeth's mind then they could have just played on his ambition or Macbeth could just be too ambitious himself and evil spirits have no influence. Ultimately it was Macbeth who killed Duncan. Macbeth must have known what he was doing as he repeatedly plunged those heavy daggers into the sleeping body of Duncan. The mental torment to a man who was not to blame for the act of regicide would have begun as he walked into the room and saw the peaceful Duncan deep in slumber would have made him turn away and not kill Duncan. Macbeth knew what he was doing. No person could have influence him, not even a woman, but evil spirits, certainly if it is taken into account of the audience that Shakespeare was writing for, could easily explain the change from patriot to malevolence. Although the witches did not tell Macbeth directly to kill Duncan, they may have found other devious methods. ?? ?? ?? ?? Phil Cox - U4KJM Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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