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Why Does Macbeth Kill Duncan

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Introduction

WHY DOES MACBETH KILL DUNCAN Macbeth has nothing against Duncan personally - in fact, he thinks he has been a good king 'This Duncan...hath been/So clear in his great office' Further arguments against killing Duncan are that Macbeth is a relative of Duncan's, he is supposed to be a trusted subject of Duncan's and he is Duncan's host on this occasion. However, the worst thing is, if he kills Duncan he is committing regicide and he believes that is a sin which would send him to hell. There are three main influences on Macbeth's decision to kill Duncan: Macbeths own ambitions to be the next king; the influence of the witches' prophecies; and his wife's longing for the prestige and power of her husband becoming the foremost man in Scotland. ...read more.

Middle

According to Macbeth Scotland needs a strong king and Duncan's sons are untested and inexperienced ('What's the boy, Malcom?'). If it were to come to an election in the event of Duncan dying suddenly Macbeth would be a strong candidate to take over the kingship by election, as in fact happens when Malcolm and his brother disappear after the murder of Duncan. He has already thought about becoming the next king, as his immediate reaction to the witches' prophecies indicates: 'Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear/ Things that do sound so fair?' (Banquo) The witches seem to have a telepathic knowledge of his desire to be king and their first prophecy, that he will be Thane of Cawdor, is immediately confirmed by Ross: 'He (Duncan) ...read more.

Conclusion

kindness to catch the nearest way' She is more ruthless than her husband and takes the initiative in scene 5, when he returns to their castle. Her advice to him is to be hypocritical: 'Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under't' When Macbeth starts to waver in Scene 7 she starts by calling him a coward and then overcomes his reservations and fears by telling him how straightforward the crime will be and how easy to arrange. I think the greatest influence on Macbeth is his wife. Macbeth wants to be king but wouldn't be able to do it on his own. The witches' prophecies and the way one of them comes true immediately is convincing for Macbeth but ultimately it is Lady Macbeth who sways Macbeth to carrying out the brutal murder. ...read more.

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