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

Why does Macbeth murder Duncan in cold blood? With close reference to the text, examine the influences acting on Macbeth.

Extracts from this document...


English G.C.S.E. Coursework Vanessa Clarke Why does Macbeth murder Duncan in cold blood? With close reference to the text, examine the influences acting on Macbeth. Various different influences act upon Macbeth causing him to murder Duncan. The main ones are his ambition, his wife and the witches. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a brave warrior, described as noble and valiant, who knows his place and is a loyal servant to the king. Then a small seed planted in his very fertile head, grows very quickly. In other words, Macbeth has a hidden desire deep inside, which is unearthed by the witches, reinforced by his wife and then acted upon to become king. Back then, in the 1600's, witches were believed to be real and that their future-telling powers came from the devil. The watching audience would have construed the we�rd sisters in Macbeth as scarily real evildoers, whereas now they are just in stories. ...read more.


Macbeth is not sure whether or not act to bring about his prophesy, and Lady Macbeth sees this as a kind of hypocrisy- he wants the reward of evil, yet dare not commit the act; "Wouldst not play false/And yet would falsely win". Lady Macbeth is another influence acting upon Macbeth. After receiving Macbeth's letter, it turns out that she is as ambitious as her husband is. Macbeth knows this and calls her "my dearest partner in greatness". She immediately assumes that they need to kill Duncan. She knows exactly what she's doing and realises that no ordinary woman would plan this murder, furthermore she demands for the spirit world to "unsex" her and fill her full of the "direst cruelty". She easily takes control when Duncan arrives, by flattering him, because she can see possibly before Macbeth can, that his face is easy to read and warns him "look lie the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under't". ...read more.


But none of this would have happened if Macbeth hadn't had a hidden yearning to be king himself. His "vaulting ambition" leads him into this premeditated murder, with his wife, and partner, behind him. Lady Macbeth knows her husband would like to be more powerful: "Thou wouldst be great/ Art not without ambition". Macbeth's ambition is his driving force and his weakness. Fate is a minor factor to be considered. It seems that Macbeth feels like an actor, doing nothing more than playing a part. This is illustrated when he says "but a poor player,/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage". To conclude, whilst the influence of both Lady Macbeth and the witches are strong, they would have never had power over him, without his ambition. It is Macbeth's ambition that leads the witches to him, and it's his ambition that leads him to corruption, treachery, betrayal, murder, hypocrisy and the deepest evil - the killing in cold blood of his honourable king. ...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. Why did Macbeth murder Duncan? Examine the various influences upon this murder and suggest ...

    Although she worries about her husbands capability to commit the murder. "Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness." She says he is too kind to commit such a deed, but she is going to make him.

  2. Macbeth and his Influences.

    thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised " (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 13-14) She then hears, by a messenger, that king Duncan will be a guest at their house for the night. When she hears this, she instantly decides that Duncan will not leave the

  1. Who was the driving force behind the murdur of duncan?

    sail, And, like a rat without a tail, I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do." Somehow she managed to pick up that she was a sailor's wife and her husband was away at sea. This could support that the witches are supernatural by just knowing these details about her.

  2. Make detailed reference to Shakespeare's

    When Macduff eventually meets Macbeth, Macbeth reassures himself by saying that no one born of woman shall harm him. Macduff shatters this theory by telling Macbeth that he was from his mother's womb "untimely ripp'd". Macbeth becomes furious with the witches and identifies them as "juggling fiends".

  1. With close reference to the text, consider how far the events of the early ...

    Macbeth shall now have that title no one is surprised except for Macbeth himself, for is that not what the witches had predicted? "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor." Duncan thanks Macbeth profusely for his part in the victories, yet Macbeth modestly says he was only doing his duties.

  2. Macbeth's Influences

    He eventually relies on them, just as he would prefer to rely on fate and superstition rather than reality. Their prophecies become deliberately ambiguous, but Macbeth does not search for hidden meanings because he does not believe they will deceive him.

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