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Who is responsible for the tragedy of Macbeth?

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Stephen Williams 11E1 G.C.S.E English Coursework Who is responsible for the tragedy of Macbeth? Firstly before we attempt to analyse who may be responsible for the tragedy of Macbeth we need to define tragedy. In this case it may be the degeneration of a honourable war hero who becomes a murderer and a tyrant to his people. However it is also feasible to say that the tragedy was that of Scotland's, because of Macbeth's succession to the Scottish throne, Scotland lost many men, became vulnerable to the threat of English invasion, many rebelled from within and the country began to decimate. Personally I believe it is both, before Macbeth's succession, Scotland was stable and ruled by a trusted king who had the support of his Thanes and subjects. After the succession the country deteriorated or degenerated. The opening scene of the play shows the witches assembling for the first time, this is where they arrange to meet Macbeth, not only is this the start of the play, it is evidently the start of the tragedy. Throughout this act Macbeth is built up as a war hero, and the thane of Cawdor is found to be a traitor. ...read more.


it was believed that God appointed kings and that killing a king would stop the natural process of things. This is seen in scene 4 of act 2 when Ross is discussing 'unnatural events' with an old man " 'tis unnatural even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last, a falcon tow' ring in her pride of place was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd". This has no significance to who is responsible but it is useful when looking at events after Duncan's death. Act 3 gives us a different view on Banquo, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, and the witches. Banquo becomes suspicious of Macbeth " thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis, all, as the weird women promis'd, and I fear thou played'st most foully for't" this quote shows that Banquo feels that Macbeth's succession has only happened because of some supernatural happening i.e. the witches, he also conveys the possibility of Macbeth being involved. Macbeth speaks before he meets up with the murderers. He tells us - the audience - that he needs to be secure as king " to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus" meaning that he wants to murder Banquo to get rid of 'suspicion' and the feeling of a "fruitless crown". ...read more.


The witches' ambiguous prophecies act as a catalyst to Macbeth's ambitions and so are only really sustaining thoughts that he already has. Lady Macbeth is just as ruthless as Macbeth but cannot cope with the strain of guilt, Macbeth carries out her ambitions, and it seems that she has harboured the same thoughts of kingship as him. The witches play a very small role in the tragedy and when they give Macbeth the apparitions they really are telling him or warning him of what will happen, it is his own misinterpretation that leads him to think that no one could stop him. After reading and analysing the play chronologically I have come to the conclusion that it is Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who are to blame for the both the tragedy of Macbeth and Scotland. Both were there to support each other and evidently both wanted to be King and Queen. Neither of them drew a line and stopped the butchering this is because they had killed Duncan already and they may as well kill others to for fill their idea's of infallibility and security i.e. the murder of Banquo. It is also both appropriate and feasible to say that the unnatural happenings that they caused by killing Duncan resulted in their own deaths. ...read more.

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