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Why Did Macbeth Kill Duncan?

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WHY DID MACBETH KILL DUNCAN? There are a number of reasons why Macbeth killed Duncan. However, the fact that he did seems extraordinary. Macbeth was a national hero. He had fought a war against the Norwegians and was rewarded accordingly. He was a noble soldier. Both Macbeth and Duncan had respect for each other. So why did Macbeth kill Duncan? The change in attitude and atmosphere first came when Macbeth met the three witches. The witches and their prophecies are the first major influence on Macbeth's actions. Macbeth, Thane of Glamis is content with his position, until the three witches tell him: 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. After hearing this, Macbeth and Banquo, his loyal friend, find out that King Duncan has named Macbeth "Thane of Cawdor." They contemplate about how the rest of the prophecy will come true. The witches also reveal to them that Banquo's son would be King one day. Macbeth writes a letter to Lady Macbeth explaining what has happened. ...read more.


'Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under it.' Macbeth still has reservations about killing the king but Lady Macbeth has already prepared for the immoral act, and his mind begins to wander. Macbeth shows signs of insanity, as he follows a dagger up the stairs to King Duncan's bedroom: 'Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.' Evil takes over Macbeth. Soon King Duncan's reign as King of Scotland ends. Macbeth murders Duncan under a cover of darkness. There are three factors that lead to Macbeth murdering Duncan. The first factor is the witches. The witches place ideas into him that are already in his head. He has great ambition and may already want to be king so the witches therefore could not be totally responsible and just act as a catalyst. The witches change Macbeth's outlook upon the crown, but are not directly involved while they do this. We can see it is quite easy to resist the witches as demonstrated by Banquo. ...read more.


It is the ambition in his mind that is the key. He knows that Duncan is a good man and has never done any wrong to him. He owes him gratitude for the honours he has given him. Macbeth is his kinsman, one of the elite and one of his generals. He is his subject, and should not murder his ruler if he has done nothing wrong. He is also the host and should prevent someone murdering Duncan and not do it himself. He also says: 'He hath honour'd me of late' He is saying that he has received the title of Thane of Cawdor. He says that he should enjoy all the praise he receives and not throw it away. All this shows us that Macbeth is simply too intelligent to be a puppet being used. He is aware of all the consequences but still wants to be king. Moreover, he could have withdrawn at any point. I feel the Macbeth's ambition was the main reason why he killed Duncan. Macbeth committed the murder and let ambition rule him despite knowing the consequences. His ambition pushed his intent I believe the other two factors are less important. They only acted as catalysts for the murder. ...read more.

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