This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Macbeth's Killing Of King Duncan In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2519 words - 10 pages

Macbeth's Killing of King Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

The play of Macbeth was technically set in the 11th century (despite
showing little indication of the period). The Scottish play was
written by William Shakespeare in 1606 and is one of his tragedies, in
that the main characters struggle with circumstances and meet death
and despair.

It was allegedly written for King James 1st by Shakespeare to act as a
propaganda tool to basically scare people against trying to kill the
King, as Guy Fawkes had attempted to do. It is noted that King James
was fascinated by witchcraft and at the time when it was written there
was a strong cultural belief in supernatural objects such as the Devil
and witches.

There are many factors that we must consider when deciding who
persuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan. Despite the question being a
relatively easy one we must look at a number of key issues in greater

Macbeth is a hero at the start of the play but he becomes an evil man
as we approach the end. Is he a victim of either his wife or the
witches or did he have a choice and chose evil over good?

Let us firstly consider whether or not the witches were influential in
persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan. They hail Macbeth as "Thane of
Glamis!" "Thane of Cawdor!" and prophesised "that shalt be king

The first time Macbeth is hailed as "Thane of Glamis" confirms that
the witches know who he is. The second time they hail him as "Thane of
Cawdor` he seems to ponder upon this, and as soon as the witches
disappear two of Duncan`s other loyal thanes appear and announce
Macbeth Thane of Cawdor. He now starts to accept the witches
prophecies as a fact rather than just plain speculation.

It is Macbeth who connects the idea of Kingship and murder whereas the
witches say nothing of this which is why he demands them to "Stay, you
imperfect speakers, tell me more". Therefore it seems that the witches
can not be accused of persuading Macbeth to kill Duncan it is Macbeth
in this case persuading himself. Macbeth hears only what he wants to
hear from the prediction of witches. Their words are eerie and provide
the play with dramatic impact especially since they speak in rhyme and
repeat certain phrases such as "munched, and munched, and munched".

Now let us consider the role of lady Macbeth in the demise of Duncan.
Lady Macbeth is delighted when she receives a letter from her husband
telling her of the witch's predictions. She uses the fact that Macbeth
regards her very highly "dearest partner of greatness" to get her own
way. These words also allude to royalty and sovereignty - promises of
what is to come.

Lady Macbeth realises, however that her husband lacks ruthless
ambition "Yet do I fear thy nature: it is too full of the milk of
human kindness". Macbeth...

Find Another Essay On Macbeth's Killing of King Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Lady Macbeth's Strategy in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth

1613 words - 6 pages Lady Macbeth's Strategy in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth In the seventh scene of act one Macbeth has left the banquet, and expresses his doubts about murdering Duncan in a monologue. Lady Macbeth comes in, and argues with Macbeth, until she manages to 'convince' him, that he has to murder Duncan. To do that Lady Macbeth uses mainly two arguments. 'Letting 'I dare not? wait upon ?I would? like the poor cat i? the adage? (lines 43

Influences That Lead to Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

3790 words - 15 pages Influences That Lead to Macbeth's Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Macbeth is a play written by the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. The play was started around 1603 but was only finished in 1606. The play is a tragedy and is one of the darkest of Shakespeare's plays ever written. The play was originally written for King James I when he came to the throne of England after Elizabeth had died. Banquo, one

Lady Macbeth's Influence Upon Her Husband in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1796 words - 7 pages . Shakespeare's King Lear is an absolute calamity in which the innate world is amorally unresponsive toward mankind, but in the play Macbeth Shakespeare conspires to add a supernatural factor, where the witches purposely connive to ruin Macbeth's world and Scotland's heritage. A play like Macbeth in the 1600's was a daring move of William Shakespeare. As the King at the time was fixated with the effects of the supernatural, he

Macbeth's Mistakes in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1283 words - 5 pages his diluted state had not let him think of, the fact that Macduff was ripped from his mother’s womb. After reading Macbeth, many would agree that Macbeth’s most crucial faults are taking people’s remarks, such as the witches’ and Lady Macbeth’s, too literally and letting them persuade him too easily. In Shakespeare's Characters for Students, the author confers about how Lady Macbeth had escalating power over Macbeth and that she can be held

Macbeth's Responsibility for the Murder of King Duncan

1801 words - 7 pages Macbeth's Responsibility for the Murder of King Duncan This essay will discuss the issue of King Duncan's murder in William Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth'. Macbeth is seen to be the one that is responsible for Duncan's murder as his hands were the ones that actually killed King Duncan, however, on closer inspection, there are other influences in Macbeth's decision. The three main influences to Macbeth's decision are Lady

The Death Of King Duncan in William Shakespeare

3612 words - 14 pages The Death Of King Duncan in William Shakespeare The original ideas for the play of Macbeth was for William Shakespeare to impress the king of the time (James VI of Scotland later known as James I of England ) by writing a play for him that shared the same beliefs of James I that being The Divine Right Of Kings. The Divine Right Of Kings meant that a king was chosen by god and everybody accepted this, including

Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1683 words - 7 pages Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth This play is a tragedy. In this essay I will discuss what effect the witches, lady Macbeth and Macbeth have on the rise and fall of Macbeth. Macbeth at the beginning of the play is successful warrior in the Scottish army. The king of Scotland, Duncan, hears of Macbeth's bravery and he calls him a 'Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!' (Act 1 scene 2, line 24). This

Change of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2593 words - 10 pages in Macbeth so we can see what characters are really thinking, without influence from those around. It is a chance to get a good insight into their opinions and outlooks. We can see what they are really thinking. Macbeth clearly realises that killing Duncan is an option. In Act 1 Scene 4 Macbeth's two-faced quality shows through, he is able to be polite and friendly to the king. Macbeth's ambition is one of the

Analysis of Lady Macbeth's Speech in Shakespeare's Macbeth

730 words - 3 pages very demanding. I think Lady Macbeth has realised that she will never be able to accomplish the task of killing Duncan with her week and feeble female body and instead be filled from head to toe with the. Another example of repeated imperative verbs are ‘come you spirits’ and ‘come to my womans breasts’. In these I think she is telling the spirits to take her milk and replace it with bitterness. In some ways I think she is suggesting that she is

Macbeth's Lust for Power in Shakespeare's Macbeth

746 words - 3 pages man.” This statement shows that Macbeth believes killing Duncan will make him nothing more than a beast. Lady Macbeth then undermines Macbeth by saying to him “Screw your courage to the sticking place”, it simply means that Macbeth should be as courageous as he could possibly be. Nevertheless Macbeth makes up his mind to go through with the terrible deed of killing his King and loyal friend Duncan. In the soliloquy in act 2 scene 1, Macbeth

Security In "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare: The downfalls of Duncan, Banquo and Macbeth

569 words - 2 pages shows yet again that he does not know the right people to trust. Due to the lack of judgment and the ambition of Macbeth to take the throne, Duncan was transformed from a king to a pawn in Macbeth's chess game.The murder of Banquo occurred because he had confidence that he would be safe from Macbeth's overarching ambitions because the two have been great friends for years. In Act Two, Banquo reveals that he would stay loyal to Macbeth as long as

Similar Essays

Macbeth's Killing Of Duncan In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

3587 words - 14 pages Macbeth's Killing of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In this essay I will explore all the reasons and explanations behind the killing of Duncan by Macbeth. I will explore all the influences upon him that lead to him deciding to kill Duncan; who is his king. I will explore four factors that contribute to the murder of Duncan; these factors are: Macbeth's personal ambitions, the weaknesses of Duncan, the witches

Macbeth's Murder Of Duncan In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1020 words - 4 pages Macbeth's Murder of Duncan in William Shakespeare's 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

Who Killed King Duncan In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

933 words - 4 pages Who Killed King Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Who was too blame for the Murder of King Duncan? There are four major factors in the murder Lady Macbeth, Fate, the Witches and Macbeth himself. Macbeth himself committed the murder of Duncan so of course has some of the blame for the murder. His ambition and his thrust also made him do the crime. For Macbeth when the bait was dangled in front of him he could

Macbeth's Tragic Downfall In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2335 words - 9 pages Macbeth's Tragic Downfall in William Shakespeare's Macbeth William Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth is 1606. Shakespeare adds a supernatural dimension that deliberately conspires against Macbeth and his kingdom. The protagonist was lured to murder the king Duncan, by the desire for power, an appetite whetted by the witches' prophecies and his wife's encouragement. All characters made an impact on Macbeth's