Who is responsible for King Duncan's murder?
Farhana Rahman Yr 10
Who is responsible of King Duncan’s murder?
Who is responsible for King Duncan’s murder?
The tale “Macbeth” is one of relationships, betrayal, destruction and murder. A tale which is linked to every individual character. The question for my assignment is “Who is responsible for King Duncan’s murder”. I shall answer my question using character analysis, quotes, and points looking at two points of views. My essay question is quite complex and debatable to answer as there are many characters linked to the murder; Macbeth is not solely to blame. I shall focus on my suspects one by one.
The three witches, servants of the devils, are very important because they open the play and tell Macbeth and Banquo their future which is partly the cause of the murder of King Duncan. My first suspects are the three witches. The reason for this is their dark prophecy for Macbeth: “All hail Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter”
The witch’s prediction gave an indication to Macbeth about the future. It told him that he will become king. This prediction made Macbeth wonder how he can get obtain the throne. Another prediction was made by the witch’s: “All hail Macbeth hail to thee Thane of Cowdor”
This is a preview of the whole essay
This prediction was also in Macbeth’s mind and soon after it had come true, this is proof of the other predictions coming true and eventually they did, but it involved the murder of King Duncan which was carried out by Macbeth. However the prediction about Macbeth becoming Thane of Cowdor could also be a coincidence because Macbeth is a great warrior and shows much love to his cousin or it could also be because the previous thane rebels against the king. After hearing the predictions Macbeth was eager to know more: “Say, you imperfect speaker’s”
This shows that Macbeth is getting attached to the witch’s predictions and is developing interest in it.
Act 1 Scene 5 starts off with Lady Macbeth reading a letter which she has received from Macbeth regarding the witch’s predictions. Just by reading that one letter she has already thought of evil plans for Macbeth to gain power, but instead of her carrying out these evil plans she persuades Macbeth to do them. Not only that but Lady Macbeth is the one who plans the murder of killing king Duncan. This shows that she is responsible of King Duncan’s murder. However it is possible that Macbeth sent the letter on purpose and knew what Lady Macbeth’s intentions would be.
In Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth changes his mind concerning King Duncan’s death “We will proceed no further with this business”
This extract is regarding King Duncan’s death before the murder had taken place. Macbeth is trying to tell Lady Macbeth that he does not want to kill King Duncan because of the love and respect Macbeth has received from him, but unfortunately once again Lady Macbeth pressurizes Macbeth in committing the dirty deed which is killing King Duncan because it is the only way he can get his hands on the throne. She insults and emotionally mocks him because Lady Macbeth knows how emotional Macbeth can be. She says “Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums/And dashed the brains out, had I sworn /As you have done this to me”
Lay Macbeth uses motherhood and love for a baby to make Macbeth change his mind and soon after he does.
As well as Lady Macbeth and the three witches, by some means I also find Banquo responsible for the death of King Duncan, this is because after listening to the witches predictions Banquo would always bring the subject up of Macbeth becoming King. “I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters-/ To you they have showed some truth”
This reference is concerning the prediction of Macbeth becoming Thane of Cawdor. Banquo is constantly talking about the witches predictions and is reminding Macbeth that he will become king. I think that Banquo is trying to motivate Macbeth in killing King Duncan so he does not have to commit the dirty deed.
My final suspect is of course Macbeth himself as he is the one who has committed the murder and has agreed to it as well. In this play we see a gradual character change in Macbeth, slowly he starts to create an evil mind and is murdering every person who may suspect him or demolish his plans.
After Macbeth hears the witch’s predictions he is eager to know more and has developed a sudden interest in this conversation. “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical”
In this quotation, Macbeth starts getting thoughts of killing king Duncan before Lady Macbeth suggests them in Act 1 Scene 4, this shows that he wants to kill King Duncan.
After hearing Lady Macbeth’s suggestion of killing King Duncan, Macbeth starts having doubts. In Act 1 Scene 7 he has a soliloquy “I have no spur/to prick the sides of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself”
This is relating to Macbeth, that he had no real desire of killing. He is just ambitious but that wont make him murder. But this is not true because in Act 1 Scene 4 he had thought of killing King Duncan as I mentioned earlier. However after Macbeth committed King Duncan’s murder he was feeling guilty and was a little fidgety.
After analysing the characters it seems that there is no actual murderer who is responsible for King Duncan’s murder. Lady Macbeth planned out every step of the murder but she herself never committed it, whereas Macbeth did but, he was pressurised in doing it. At a certain extent Banquo is as much responsible as Lady Macbeth because he continuously mentioned the witch’s prophecies for his own selfish need, he pushed Macbeth in doing the dirty deed so he doesn’t have to carry out the murder. The witches are an additional part of King Duncan’s murder because if it wasn’t for their predictions the murder would not have taken place. Macbeth’s ambitions, emotions and confidence had overtaken him and cause him to perform the murder. The above suspects are only part of the murder none of them played the actual role as the murderer.