Analysis: Macbeth's Murder of Duncan

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Macbeth’s murder of Duncan has horrible consequences both for Macbeth himself and for Scotland.

In Shakespeares famous play, Macbeth, the themes of murder, guilt, ambition and the ruthless pursuit of power is explored. He does this through the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who are tied together in an eerie search for absolute power. Throughout the play, Macbeth reveals many traits that have horrible consequences for Macbeth himself and for Scotland. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth portrays himself as a noble, sincere man who would die for his country but as the play moves forward we discover that we may have been misled. At first it seems that Macbeth is a noble warrior, but as time goes on it becomes apparent that he is a cruel, heartless tyrant, particularly when he murders Duncan and Macduffs’ wife and babes.

At the start of the play, Macbeth believes the witches’ prophesies which foretell that he will become king. After he tells Lady Macbeth ‘My dearest partner of greatness’ of the witches prophesies, Lady Macbeth hatches a plan to kill the king of Scotland, which eventually results in horrible consequences for Macbeth and Scotland. Lady Macbeth explains her plan to Macbeth and her vision for his accession to the throne which would require the removal of Duncan. She suggests the murder of Duncan. Macbeth begins to feel weary and starts to have doubts. Lady Macbeth is insanely ambitious for her husband to become king, so much so that she states ‘I would, while it was smiling on my face, have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash’d the brains out’ rather than go back on her word like her husband has just done. However, little did either of them know that the repercussions for the killing of the king would lead to their own deaths. The people of Scotland were living in fear of an uncertain future, which influenced them to turn against their new king.

Lady Macbeth is the driving force behind the murder of Duncan. She is...
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