• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

Extracts from this document...


'Macbeth' By William Shakespeare Essay- who is responsible for the death of Duncan? In this essay, I set out to evaluate the killing of Duncan and find out who is responsible. I will expose the role of each character during the killing and develop this further. The characters I will be assessing are Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the three witches. The witches play an important role in the play and put a lot of impact on Macbeth towards the killing. The opening scene of Macbeth implies evil and the word evil, is bonded to the whole play. Shakespeare opens the play dramatically and with great intensity. This easy for Shakespeare as his audience would believe the witches to be agents of the devil. To prove that Shakespeare's audience did believe in witches, they had regular witch-hunts to get rid of their 'evil influence.' Many innocent women were accused of being witches and burnt at the stake. Also, the audience see the witches before the humans, which sets the evil mood/atmosphere throughout the play. The witches are strong and powerful by the way the witches speak they speak in verse. ...read more.


It would be correct to say that the witches influence Macbeth and that they hold some sort of power or force over Macbeth as if they have put a spell over him. The witches have planted the idea into Macbeth's mind and the idea of committing murder to fulfil the witches' prophecy begins to disturb him... 'My thought, whose murder yet is fantastical Shakes so my single state of man that function Is smooter'd in surmise.' At the end of the scene, Macbeth does actually decides to let everything happen by fate and without any effort of his own as he rightly quotes in lines 143-144... ... 'If chance will have me king, why, Chance may crown me, Without my stir.' After the witches leave Macbeth and Banquo, Ross and Angus appear with a message from the king for Macbeth. The Thane of Cawdor has been executed for treason and his title has been awarded to Macbeth. Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is shocked on hearing this news and cannot believe it. Macbeth questions Ross and Angus about this new title and says that the Thane of Cawdor is still alive and this is impossible. ...read more.


They leave Macbeth to decide between 'good' and 'evil'. Macbeth chooses 'evil' and the witches do not persuade him into it. The person, who does persuade Macbeth into choosing 'evil', is his wife, Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth plays an extremely large part in the death of Duncan. Had it not been for Lady Macbeth's interference, Macbeth would not have murdered Duncan. She is determined to be the one to kill Duncan but she does not carry out the deed, as she also knows the consequences that it would lead to. This is also another reason why she convinces Macbeth into killing Duncan. This is proved when Macbeth appears at his castle. When he and Lady Macbeth discuss the matter, it is Lady Macbeth who appears to be the stronger partner. She is determined that Duncan will not leave their castle alive. She then urges Macbeth to disguise his evil intentions. Lady Macbeth uses the powerful image of dashing out her newborn child's brains in order to shame Macbeth. Macbeth wonders if they might fail. Lady Macbeth accepts the possibility of failure but urges that if Macbeth is courageous, they will not fail. She then outlines her plan. She is the practical one and finally persuades Macbeth who says; ' I am settled, and bend up, Each corporal agent to this terrible feat'. ...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. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    During their conversation Shakespeare makes it clear that much has changed in their relationship. In her four-line soliloquy prior to Macbeth's entry, Lady Macbeth says, 'Nought's had, all's spent, / Where our desire is got without content.' She is clearly not content with her present situation.

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

    Also like Lady Macbeth using a form of persuasion to root ideas into his mind. When Macbeth first met the witches it was after the battle (Act 1 Scene 3, Macbeth and Banquo enter at line 38). When Macbeth first met the witches he was with his friend Banquo.

  1. Who is the Most Responsible for the Death of Duncan, the witches, Lady Macbeth ...

    you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair'. Foul is fair is confused again because Banquo says fair, where as in Macbeth's mind it is foul. They speak openly of his ambitions; He is shocked because they are both the same - to become king.

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

    "unsex me here" After critically examining the evidence in this scene, one can point the finger of blame towards Lady Macbeth who calls on evil spirits so she can assist her husband.

  1. Who is responsible for the death of King Duncan?

    We cannot tell whether his desire to become King would have eventually consumed him, however in this case of events, Lady Macbeth must take immense responsibility for the murder of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth must also take further responsibility for this evil act as when she attacked Macbeth with her

  2. What is the Significance of the Witches in Macbeth?

    This is therefore ironic. Then Macbeth is told that he has been made Lord of Cawdor and both Banquo and Macbeth are shocked. In an aside Banquo warns Macbeth that the witches are evil and not to believe what they say.

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

    This then resulted in him changing his mind: "I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show: false face must heart doth know." Had Macbeth not allowed Lady Macbeth to speak for any longer, Macbeth wouldn't have changed his mind - Duncan may well have lived.

  2. Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    She wants him to kill the king but feels he is; "too full o' the milk of human kindness." Lady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth is a strong powerful person and reacts violently when Macbeth acts cowardly about being afraid of the murder and what it would lead to.

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