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Who is to blame for the death of King Duncan?

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Introduction

Who is to blame for the death of King Duncan? This essay will be analysing the question 'Who is to blame for the death of King Duncan?' This question however is rhetorical in the fact that Macbeth is the only person to blame for the murder of King Duncan. However there are many people whom contribute to his downfall as a loyal kinsman and warrior. Macbeth's character experiences greed as a result of entailing premonitions, which dethrone him from the many titles awarded to him accordingly by the King. Macbeth is firstly recognised as the protagonist, after winning the tough battle for Scotland and being emphasised as a brave warrior furthermore. This label of Macbeth being the 'brave warrior' continues throughout the play but in retrospect can be seen to be diminishing with his fervent belief in the supernatural. Macbeth's lustful greed is understood after his conversation with three witches as they awaited his presence on the 'lonely moor'. ...read more.

Middle

Macbeth's disillusionment with the witches' future predictions only encouraged further tribulations. This made Macbeth more ruthless in his attempts to become King. Banquo seemed to be a threat to Macbeth's increasing power and he was therefore eliminated by Macbeth, becoming part of many of Macbeth's deceased adversaries. It is in this scene that Macbeth had indirectly achieved a new low point as a brute. Macbeth, a person who had once been part of King Duncan's most trusted henchman betrayed his trust and put his belief into three witches whom he had believed bought him good fortune, whilst ruling out that this might be his own moira. Lady Macbeth also plays an important antagonist, like the witches, in weakening Macbeth's loyal character and legitimising the inner greed within him. Lady Macbeth is one of the main catalysts which lead to Macbeth killing King Duncan. Lady Macbeth intentionally summons evil forces in her attempts to one day be crowned Queen. Her actions were immediately conspired when she was aware of the witches' premonitions. ...read more.

Conclusion

A person, who was once the most respected kinsman of King Duncan's servants, had in the end been depicted as a 'dead butcher'. Shakespeare had used many devices to portray the witches and Lady Macbeth as part of the profane and imperfect, which fitted the ideological portrayal of women in the Elizabethan era. I believe that the witches played the most important role in eliminating Macbeth's status. However at no time was Macbeth magically forced to kill the King. The witches' role in the murder was limited to the prophecy. Macbeth can in some sense be seen to be solely responsible for the murder of King Duncan as he turned into a murdering tyrant. Macbeth kills his friend Banquo and has Lady Macduff and her family killed, which can be seen as proof that Macbeth went at great lengths to attain power and stave off being powerless. Shakespeare had used Macbeth as one of the leading characters to show how easily greed can be unleashed in a turn of events, leaving the reader to think if fate is inevitable. ...read more.

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