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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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