Who Is Most Responsible For King Duncan's Death And Macbeth's Downfall?

1535 words - 6 pages

Who is most responsible for King Duncan’s death and Macbeth’s downfall?

The play ’Macbeth’ was written by William Shakespeare in 1606, although it was set in Scotland, around 1040. Shakespeare was the most famous playwright of his time, even though none of his work was published until seven years after his death in 1616. This essay will help to explain who is most to blame for the death of King Duncan, which started the series of events that lead to Macbeth’s death in the play.
Macbeth was favoured in that time as a play to be acted out, and not as a play to be read, and this is why even though his work was being used in many theatres at the time, none of his work was ever published as a book.
During Shakespeare’s lifetime, women were seen as second class citizens, which meant that they did not have a say in society. Women were seen as slaves, which is surprisingly not portrayed in the play. This may be because Shakespeare may have been influenced by the way that Queen Elizabeth ruled England before James I. he may have chosen to portray Lady Macbeth to be strong willed and powerful, just like the previous queen which may have influenced Shakespeare’s work.
Another influence of his work would be the patron James I, as he was immensely interested in witchcraft in the 17th centaury. This may be because King James felt that his ship in 1605 that was shipwrecked coming back to England, and James I thought that it was the will of the witches.
‘Macbeth’ was written in the form of a play. Shakespeare obviously wanted his work to be acted out in the local theatre, as this was the main way of becoming famous at that time as going to the theatre was the main form of entertainment in those times. The play ‘Macbeth’ may also have been written as a play as this would make a lot of imagery and allowed Shakespeare to create a further dramatic effect to his work. For example, in the first scene of act I the witches appear, making the mood very dark and sinister. This idea becomes clearer as the play progresses through Macbeth’s decisions to believe in the witches. The idea that the witches are dark and this idea is further created by the way the audience can actually see the witches as it makes the play more visual and ‘creepy’.
The language used in ‘Macbeth’ is not unusual when put in context of when the play was written. This is because in those times, people spoke in old English as this was common in those days, although it is not spoken nowadays.
There are also specific language devices such as symbolism, as when Lady Macbeth ‘cleans her hands of guilt’, we see that the ‘blood’ on her hands is symbolising the guilt she carries of making Macbeth murder Duncan. We see that she regrets killing Duncan, and this shows that Macbeth was foolish to believe such an unstable woman. When she reads the letter from Macbeth about the witches’ prophecies, we see that she asks the evil around her to ‘unsex me here’; making it clear that she wants to have...

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