Where Does The Major Responsibility For Duncan's Death Lie?

1036 words - 4 pages

There were many people involved in the death of Duncan, the King of Scotland. However, Macbeth bears the major responsibility for the murder. Macbeth committed the task by his own hand. He understood the significance of the prediction in relation to his own ambitions. Finally, Macbeth was aware of his actions and he accepted them.Macbeth murdered Duncan. He was the one who stabbed the King and he admits that freely in the play. 'I have done the deed' relates Macbeth to his Lady after he completed the objective. (II, ii, l.19) Before the murder he says 'I go and it is done; the bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.' (II, I, l.69-71)In such he plainly states his intent to murder Duncan and again later on, he mentions in a soliloquy that 'To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.' (II, ii, l.92) Preceding the actual death of Duncan, Macbeth's ambitions became apparent as the significance of the prediction and actual events emerged. Being an ambitious man, Macbeth said'... I have no spurTo prick the sides of my intent, but onlyVaulting ambition which o'erleaps itselfAnd falls on the other.' (I,vii,l.25-28)In this speech Macbeth broadcasts his immense ambitions which are the only reason he is pursuing the witches prediction. Macbeth, upon hearing the witches speak was startled at their prophecy. Banquo said to him 'Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear / Things that do sound so fair?'(I,iii,l.54-55) Macbeth was startled because of the implications of the forecast. Macbeth had thought before about the very thing that he was now being told was his. He was infatuated with the idea and he lusted after information pertaining to it. 'Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel's death I know I am thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor? The thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and to be king Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence You owe this strange intelligence? or why With such prophetic greeting? speak, I charge you.' (I,iii,l.73-81) Macbeth began...

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