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Who is the most responsible for the killing of Duncan and what makes it such a terrible crime?

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Introduction

Macbeth by William Shakespeare Who is the most responsible for the killing of Duncan and what makes it such a terrible crime? The play 'Macbeth' was written by Shakespeare for King James 1. This was because the Tudors and the Stuarts were always paranoid about treason. James 1 was especially concerned about people committing treason on a king. He was afraid it would devastate the country and cause a civil war. The murder of the king in 'Macbeth' was a terrible crime, just like it would have been at the time Shakespeare was alive. It was an offence against the crown, state and nature. It was also an act against God. The king's power involved God, as the king was the lord's anointed, appointed by God. The king ruled by divine right. It was blasphemous and unnatural to attack the king. It was sacrilege. Macduff uses this word in the play, straight after King Duncan's murder. Act 2 Scene 3 Line 60. In this essay I'm going to talk about who was the most responsible for the killing of the king. At the beginning of the play the three witches are discussing where they should meet again. ...read more.

Middle

She says that she would kill her own child rather then break such a promise. She tries to persuade Macbeth to do it by making him feel bad, she thinks he might do it if she calls him a coward etc to stand up to her and show her that she is wrong. Lady Macbeth then goes on to talk about the rest of the plan. She plans to make the bodyguards drunk and blame the murder on them. Macbeth applauds Lady Macbeth at this plan, he says that they should cover and hide their evil plans with kind looks. 'False face must hide what the false heart doth know.' Lady Macbeth has pushed Macbeth back onto the track she wants him on. She has taken the whole crime from planning it too going to do it, into her own hands. So far Lady Macbeth has had the most responsibility for the crime. Act 2 scene 1 line 33, Macbeth is left alone after trying to persuade Banquo to be on his side, Macbeth starts to hallucinate, his mind is disturbed with thoughts of having the king murdered. Macbeth sees a dagger infront of him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was present when Macbeth received the prophecies from the witches and must have been aware of Macbeth's sudden rise in power and authority. He never once tells anyone about the prophecies but keeps them to himself. From everything I have covered in Macbeth I would say that Lady Macbeth has the most responsibility for Duncan's murder. She has always wanted to kill Duncan from as soon as she received the letter explaining of the witches' prophecies. There are several places in the play where Macbeth refuses to take part in the crime or have anything to do with it, but Lady Macbeth always pressurises him to do it. Although Macbeth was the first person to think of king's murder and he actually did the crime and smaller characters had some part in it, I would still say that Lady Macbeth was the most responsible. She had an evil and sick mind, unlike Macbeth who knew exactly what the consequences would be and was troubled by the whole idea and reality that a great king was murdered. The death of Duncan to the audience at the time this play was first written was dramatic because it should them exactly what might happen if someone actually tried to conduct such a crime on a king. It also should them what would happen to the person who conducted the crime. ...read more.

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