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Who is responsible for king duncan's murder?

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Who is responsible for King Duncan's murder? In this essay I will explain my view of who is responsible for King Duncan's murder. There are three main characters to consider with regards to the question, namely Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the Witches. In addition we need to contemplate on when the play was written and how the audience saw the characters. In Shakespeare's time the Witches were seen as ominous and terrifying. People believed in the supernatural, they also dreaded and suspected witches and their powers. The Witches play a grave part in the killing of King Duncan because they were the ones who put the idea in Macbeth's head in the first place. The first scene of the play is the Witches meeting and they appear in 'thunder and lightning'. Thunder and lightning can be said to symbolize dark powers and they are a damaging force a lot like the Witches. The Witches talk in a chant-like style; with controlled verses and poetry and this indicates a cruel and organized approach. The Witches participate in the most essential part of the play, as the key intention of witchcraft is thought to be to turn good into evil and disturb the natural order. ...read more.


The difference between Macbeth and Banquo is that Macbeth took these prophecies to heart and decided to take action upon it whilst Banquo did not. Macbeth's first meeting with the Witches hurls his mind into confusion. Their strange imagery, rhyming and clothing are something he is not used to. He is promised that he will become king and so he is thinking of greatness, something that has not come across his mind before, making him question the witches for more information to help him understand this thought. A further idea is Duncan's murder which has crossed Macbeth's mind before but he has never had the force to actually do it. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in the play as she is the person who convinces Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Without her persuasiveness I am not sure if Macbeth would have gone through with the murder. Then again, it is Macbeth who planted the idea of murder into Lady Macbeth's mind as he wrote her a letter and said "My dearest partner of greatness, that thou mighest not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee." This draws Lady Macbeth into the murder and the letter shows that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are loving with each other. ...read more.


Macbeth has great pride as a man and so must show his wife she is wrong. He wants to prove himself to her. Lady Macbeth uses emotional blackmail on her husband, and Macbeth just wants to be a man in his wife's eyes. However, Lady Macbeth does show moments of humanity, for example she says she could have killed Duncan herself is he had not looked like her father. "Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had don't." This shows the audience that she is not as wicked as was presumed. She still has a conscience. It makes her more womanly and so the audience do feel a slight amount of pity for her. Overall, I think the Witches are firstly to blame as they are the ones who put the thought into Macbeth's mind and so started the murder plan. Then Lady Macbeth persuades and blackmails Macbeth which eventually drives him to actually commit the crime and kill King Duncan. But Macbeth is also to blame as he was allowing himself to be convinced and won over so easily. But on the other hand, he probably would have gone through with the murder even if nobody tried influencing him. As a whole, I blame Macbeth for the murder of King Duncan. ?? ?? ?? ?? Saimah Sarwar 10a English coursework ...read more.

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