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Who or what is really to blame for the crimes of Macbeth?

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Introduction

Who or what is really to blame for the crimes of Macbeth? In Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" there is several factors that contribute to Macbeth's crimes which were the killing of Duncan, Banquo and Fleance. These factors include the evil influence of the witches, Lady Macbeth's ruthlessness and ambition, Macbeth's own ambition and gullibility. Lady Macbeth encouraged Macbeth to commit the murder of Duncan so that she could then be in a more powerful position as queen. At the start, she knows that Macbeth is not brave enough to commit the crime so she plans it: "You shall put this night's great business into my dispatch." (Act 1 scene 6) By this comment, Lady Macbeth is encouraging Macbeth to commit the crime. When Macbeth declares he should not kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth provokes him by her teasing and testing of his manhood. ...read more.

Middle

These actions were a result of her initial idea which put him in that position. Another point that supports the fact that Lady Macbeth played a large role in the crimes is her episodes of guilt. Once the first crime was executed she realised what a terrible thing had been done and her guilt ridden state of mind, in the end caused her own death. The witches also could be blamed for the crimes of Macbeth as they originally tell him that he will become king. In their prophecies they talk to Macbeth "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Glamis. All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor. All hail Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter."(Act 1, scene 3.) ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth pondered the possibility which greatly appealed to him. Macbeth could be seen to be gullible however his ambition for the prophecy to be true was so strong and spurred on by Lady Macbeth that it is quite believable that he would become king. Despite Lady Macbeth's ruthlessness and planning of the crime and the witches' evil intentions, Macbeth still physically committed the crimes. He continued to commit further crimes even though Lady Macbeth became distraught and lost confidence after Duncan's killing. Macbeth on the contrary became stronger and more self assured in his actions. Overall, it would appear that Lady Macbeth was the main person to blame for Macbeth's crimes. Conversely, she lost power as a result of guilt and Macbeth took over their ambition of ruling. Even though Macbeth physically committed the crimes, Lady Macbeth was the mastermind of the plot. This really made them equally to blame for the crimes. Word count: 702. ...read more.

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