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Who is to blame for the death of King Duncan

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Macbeth Who is to blame for the death of King Duncan? In this essay I am going to examine the possibilities of the question; as there are three different answers to who is to blame: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and The Three Witches. The play Macbeth was written between the years 1603 and 1606. During this time James 1 was king of England and Scotland. During his reign, the people of England and Scotland were very religious and strong followers of the Christian movement. This means that they were afraid of witchcraft and the supernatural because these both have links with the devil; people believed that witches worked for the devil and were sinful. The audience watching Shakespeare's play will have been of this view. Due to the tragic deaths of his parents, James 1 was scared of being killed, so Shakespeare did not include the death of King Duncan on stage because it would scare James 1 and perhaps the Elizabethan audience. The audience would have been afraid because the Divine Right of Kings states that the king represents God on Earth. The witches enter at the start of the play during 'thunder and lightning'. Shakespeare could not show this on stage so had to use the words of the witched to explain this to the audience. ...read more.


Hail to thee thane of Glamis", "all hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor. "All hail Macbeth! Thou shalt be king here after". This confuses Macbeth because he doesn't understand how he can be Thane of Cawdor or King because they both already are alive. The language the witches use is known as the language of equivocation because it is purposefully misleading, they probably did this on purpose to get him thinking about killing the king. The witches are to blame for the death of Duncan because they give him the idea that he could become king and also because they might have already had Macbeth's future mapped out for him. Lady Macbeth is the boss of the two in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, she is the one that devises all of their plans to kill King Duncan: "O never shall sun that morrow see". This shows that Lady Macbeth has made the decision that king Duncan will die that day. Shakespeare uses sibilance to show Lady Macbeth's sly and sinister plans for the death of King Duncan. Part of Lady Macbeth's plan is to criticise Macbeth by telling him he is a 'coward'. It dents his confidence and makes him feel weak and useless, which pushes him towards killing Duncan. ...read more.


In act 1 scene 7 we learn about Macbeth's reasons for killing Duncan. He tells us "I have no spur to prik the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition". This shows he has nothing to spur his intention except the ambition and it is this ambition that drives him to kill Duncan. This shows that he is becoming more ruthless as he is willing to kill somebody just for ambition. In act 2 scene 1 Shakespeare uses the soliloquy again to show Macbeth's procrastination: "Is this a dagger I see before me, the handle toward my hand?". This shows his uncertainty because he doesn't know whether the dagger is a supernatural omen guiding him towards king Duncan, or a symbol of his guilty conscience reminding him that it is the wrong thing to do. The most obvious reason for Macbeth being the one to blame for the death of Duncan is because he is the one that physically kills him. I think that all of the characters above are to blame for the death of king Duncan because the witches lead Macbeth to believe he can be king and give him confidence. I think lady Macbeth is to blame because she was telling Macbeth to kill king Duncan, then calling him a coward when he mentioned not wanting to kill Duncan. Finally Macbeth is to blame the most because he is the one in the end that physically killed Duncan. ...read more.

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