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

Who was the driving force behind the murdur of duncan?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Who is the driving force behind the murder of Duncan? This Shakespearean play was written in the height of Shakespeare's career. The flimsiness of people's mental stability and their potential for Machiavellian tasks, prejudice, barbarity and voracity are explored. Use of supernatural beings is commonly used in his plays, with Macbeth this is being used with the characters of the witches. Macbeth tells the story of a Scottish lord who kills the king in order to become king himself after it was prophesised by a cult of witches who he meets only once in the play. He then also kills his friend Banquo as a result of his thirst for power but then suffers greatly from his guilt, as a result prevents him enjoying the rewards of his actions and becomes a depressed oppressor, murdering innocent people and eventually condemning himself to defeat in battle. In this essay I will be deciding who I think was the driving force behind the murder of Duncan, King of Scotland and the begging of Macbeth's spiral downwards. After reading the play I have found three potential forces behind the murder: 1. The Witches 2. Macbeth himself 3. Or Lady Macbeth. I must now closely examine the play's events and the behaviour and thought's of the central protagonists, so that I can finally conclude who I think was the main catalyst that made Macbeth commit this homicide. The very first party we come across is the Witches. Shakespeare giving these characters the tile of 'The Witches' immediately gives a feeling of super-natural malevolence, stereotypical in Shakespearean times, witches were malicious devil-worshipers who prey on innocent people. Witches were greatly feared in those times for belonging to a different religion and not honouring the chain of being like the rest of the population did. Religion held great ascendancy in that time and almost everyone had the same beliefs that when you die you'll either go to heaven or hell depending on whether you belonged to the right social groups and that God existed. ...read more.

Middle

Speak I charge you.' The witches then vanish and Macbeth is left to ponder on his unanswered question. The witch's actual force behind the murder is very strong. Macbeth wouldn't have had the need to gain more power as he was loyal towards the king and wouldn't of thought about murdering him before the witches put in their influence. Macbeth tells of his loyalty to the king in Act 1 scene five: "The service and the loyalty I owe, In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part Is to receive our duties; and our duties Are to your throne and state children and servants, Which do but what they should, by doing everything Safe toward your love and honour" He tells of how his duties are to his king and his loyalties are solemnly to his throne, children and servants. They were the ones who told Macbeth he would be king and therefore made him think about how it would come about. When he's announced thane of Cawdor he's convinced that their predictions would come true and he brings himself up thinking that he will become the king to. When Duncan next announces the king with be his son after him Macbeth gets so angry that he leaves as he doesn't feel comfortable acting happy for his son while he had it set in his mind that he'd make him king: "The rest is labour, which is not used for you: I'll be myself the harbinger and make joyful The hearing of my wife with your approach So humbly take my leave" His immediate exit after Duncan announces Malcolm to be king shows he's not willing to celebrate his good fortune. Macbeth then seems to lead by his foolish ambition at this point and begins to think about overcoming his obstacles. The witches also speak in riddles to bemuse them, to intentionally make you wonder what they actually mean: "Lesser than Macbeth, and greater" And "Not so happy, net much happier" Both use oxymoron's ...read more.

Conclusion

She has a strong belief that will power/courage are the only two things that should dominate Macbeths' mind, 'screw your courage to the sticking place!' - Someone who encapsulates evil. The audience comes to realise that MacBeth, who is very tempted by the notion of kingship, has no chance against this self-created monster. He is affect - damned. The witches' prophecy is something that Lady MacBeth is obsessed by and is determined to will into fruition. To conclude this essay I have found reason to believe that lady Macbeth was the driving force behind Duncan's murder. The fact that the witches, Macbeth and lady Macbeth all play a part in Duncan's murder is a microcosm because they each represent powerful aspects of life. The witches are representative of Superstition by their supernatural powers and predictions, Macbeth of violence from his actions in the battle field and with committing the murder and Lady Macbeth as Politics from talking, putting ideas into Macbeth's head. Politics holds a greater influence over people than that of superstition or violence as it is apparent in everyone's lives. Politics dictates violence, leading to a link between Lady Macbeth driving Macbeth to commit an act of violence. The witches started the whole conspiracy, and lead Macbeth into believing he would be king. I find that this worked as a huge catalyst for all the events to take place, as Macbeth wouldn't of got angry when Duncan announced his son to be king next, and he wouldn't of told Lady Macbeth of his plans so she wouldn't of had reason to start plotting out her own plans. I think that Macbeth is truly the tragic hero, who had been loyal and faithful until this taint was cast upon him, I do not believe he was the driving force behind the murder because he ended up deciding not to act on his ambition. Lady Macbeth must be the driving force behind the murder because she's the one who drove him to decide to actually do it. The witches just merely showed him the path. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...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. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the Role Played by the Witches in the Tragedy of Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    leads us to believe that he is trying to convince himself, not us. Macbeth hears his wife ring a bell and Macbeth's last words refer to superstition, "...Heaven, or to Hell." In Act 2, scene 2, the state of mind of both Macbeth and his Lady are completely different to their normal selves.

  2. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal, valiant warrior ...

    Macbeth asks "if we should fail" which shows us he is now convinced to commit the murder because he is questioning what will happen if, when they attempt to kill him, it doesn't work. Lady Macbeth replies by saying "we fail?......we'll not fail" Macbeth is now in her world.

  1. How do the Witches in Macbeth Reflect contemporary ideas of witchcraft? Are the Witches ...

    I think that it is ironic how although Lady Macbeth is the dominant and more confident partner she still needs help from the spirits to corrupt Macbeth. This would either mean that Macbeth is too strong-minded or Lady Macbeth doubts her own power.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    Macbeth's castle acts as a microcosm for Scotland and it's people and symbolises the conundrum that they are enduring. The castle could be described as the gateway to hell, with the people living within it being interpreted as representatives for different groups of people in Scotland.

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    She is absolutely devastated about the slaughter of Lady Macduff and her children- "The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? What! Will these hands ne'er be clean? No more O' that, my lord, no more o' that."

  2. What contribution do the Witches make to the play Macbeth?

    The most obvious theme of Macbeth is that of Murder and Death, inspired by the Witches with their imagery, language and indirect involvement in the murders. During the night of Duncan's murder there is a diabolical storm and nocturnal animals such as owls and wolves are heard and disturb Lady Macbeth's thoughts.

  1. Act 1 Scene 1 - Witch Dear Diary, ...

    We watched the battle as a 'shipwrecking storm' while Macbeth cut through the rebel army until he got to the Thane of Cawdor, Macdonald where they fought unscrupulously until Macbeth sliced him from his belly to his jaw with his brandished steel.

  2. How does Shakespeare use the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to emphasise Macbeths ...

    we saw in act 1; it reveals that he can be easily swayed, his emotions change rapidly and that he already has insecurities. Macbeth?s weakness is evident when he and his wife plot to kill Duncan. It is Lady Macbeth who gives the orders of what to do and how

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