• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who was most responsible for Duncan's death? Shakespeare's Macbeth

Extracts from this document...


Who was most responsible for Duncan's death??? In the time Shakespeare wrote Macbeth James I was on the throne. James believed that he had the 'divine right' to rule. Meaning that he believed that god had chosen him to be king of the country and he was God's representative on earth. He thought that people should do what he said or the people were not just disobeying him but God as well. Many people in parliament did not like the way that he ruled the country and he was very suspicious of people trying to over throw him. Some people think that the play was written as a warning to those who thought of over throwing the King, that if they did they would be punished and the country would be in havoc. James I also had a great interest in witches and demons. It is thought that Shakespeare included the witches in the play to please the King. Many people have different opinions on who really was the most responsible for Duncan's death, was it Macbeth? Who in the end thrust the dagger into Duncan's chest or was it Lady Macbeth with her persuasion and ambition to help her husband gain the title as king? Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis and is a brave warrior. When Macbeth meets the witches on the heath (Act 1 scene 3) with Banquo after coming back from the battle, he is intrigued but shocked by their prophecies of his future. ...read more.


'Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, your hand your tongue: look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under't.' Macbeth does not react to what she has said dramatically, he just says that 'We will speak further' and leaves it and she leaves the conversation saying 'Leave the rest to me.' In this scene Lady Macbeth plants her plan of killing Duncan into Macbeth's head cautiously by never mentioning the word murder and uses lots of euphemisms instead such as; 'This night's great business' I think she does this because she is trying to see if he has already thought of it. It is obvious in this scene that Lady Macbeth has the upper hand in their relationship as she seems to do all the talking and Macbeth just goes along with her. In Act 1 Scene 7 lines 1 - 26, When Duncan comes to stay at Macbeth's Castle, Macbeth is doubtful of the idea of murdering Duncan. He thinks to himself that instead of plotting to murder the king, he should be totally against the idea of killing him and should be protecting the King. 'First, as I am his kinsman and his subject strong both against the deed....' Another reason he believes he should not kill Duncan is that he is such a good king that the angels will make sure that everyone knows until ' that tears shall drown the wind' what Macbeth had done if he murders him. ...read more.


This line shows that he regrets what he has done and wishes that he could wake Duncan from his eternal sleep. Macbeth feels that even 'great Neptune's oceans' would be unable to wash the blood from his hands. And instead of washing the blood clean from his hands it would turn the 'multitudinous seas incarnadine' from green to red. I think that the bit about not being able to wash the blood away is also about how he can not just push the thoughts of what he has done and guilt out of his conscience. Macbeth is so scared of what he has done that he cannot go and put back the two daggers with the guards covered in Duncan's blood. So Lady Macbeth takes them back. When Lady Macbeth comes back is acts all calm and practical. She thinks that Macbeth is being squeamish and pathetic and 'a little water' will clean them of the deed. I think that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth joint together are most responsible for the death of Duncan. Without Macbeth, Lady Macbeth would not have been able to kill Duncan as he resembled her father in his sleep.Macbeth without the persistence and persuasions of Lady Macbeth would not have been able to kill Duncan because in many points he had doubts which over ruled his ambition to become king. You can not just blame either one of them, as together as a pair I feel that they made a perfectly evil combination. One with all the ambition and thoughts in their head, the other with great persuasion skills and strength to keep their plans going. Elizabeth Singleton 9S ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Who is most responsible for the death of king Duncan?

    Making him seem a wimp, not worthy of being called a man, breaking him down until he bends to her will; and decides to agree to the murder of Duncan. Eventually she succeeds and he carries out the murder. She dose not do it herself because she finds the king

  2. Who is responsible for the death of King Duncan?

    To these words Macbeth cannot argue. Consequently it may be fair to say that if it had not been for Lady Macbeth's unmistakable desire and need for the queen ship and deadly persuasion, Macbeth would not have murdered King Duncan at that stage.

  1. Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    She wants him to kill the king but feels he is; "too full o' the milk of human kindness." Lady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth is a strong powerful person and reacts violently when Macbeth acts cowardly about being afraid of the murder and what it would lead to.

  2. Who do you think is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    The reason why MacBeth does this is because is he is considering the possibility of what it would be like to be king and what he would haft to do to become king this shocks him because it is almost as if the witches are reading his past thoughts of

  1. Macbeth - Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    The king thinks Macbeth is violent on the battlefield and is worthy and honoured. Their relationship grows when Macbeth is given the title thane of Cawdor. At the start of the play he doesn't seem likely to commit murder. However, there is a sense of irony because he did kill a lot of men on the battlefield.

  2. Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    This prophecy without a doubt influences Macbeth. When he's told that he shall become 'Thane of Cawdor', and it comes to be almost at once, Macbeth is able to believe that he would become king with no trouble. Of course, this alone wouldn't affect him and Shakespeare shows this by Banquo's view towards the witches 'prophecy' which is quite different to that of Macbeths.

  1. Who is the most responsible for the death of Duncan?

    She asks the spirits to "unsex me here." This raises the assumption that only men are able to commit such a deed. When Lady Macbeth flings at him something unlikely to be said by a woman about her own child, "I would, while it was smiling in my face, have

  2. Who is responsible for the death of Duncan?

    The witches are so powerful, that in scene 3, they can even control the weather ('I'll give thee a wind') and they hint at things to come... 'Sleep shall neither night or day Hang upon his penthouse lid.' When the first audience see the witches in scene one, they are shocked and to a certain extent, are scared.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work