Macbeth Essay

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, Macbeth of Scotland Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: May 1, 2002
To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his actions?
Whose Fault Is It?
In the play Macbeth, Macbeth's actions are cold blooded and are done out of ambition and greed. For example, he killed King Duncan because he wanted to be the king of Scotland. He also hired murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance because they stood in his way of becoming king. Only Macbeth was responsible for his deeds, however, the witches, and Lady Macbeth also played key roles in influencing Macbeth's actions.

During Macbeth's first encounter with the three witches, he learns that he has been appointed Thane of Cawdor, and that he will be the king; but, he also knows that if he is to become the king, a few people will have to die. After thinking about it, he decides that if he is going to become the king he will let it happen naturally. His decision changes, however, once he talks to Lady Macbeth. When Lady Macbeth hears Macbeth's story, she wants him to kill Duncan so that they can become king and queen. At first, he does not want to kill Duncan, but then Lady Macbeth questions his manhood "When you durst do it, then you were a man; / And, to be more than you were, you would / be so much more the man" (I, vii, 49-51). She tells Macbeth that she would kill her own child to have a chance like this " I have given suck, and know / how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me: / I would, while it was smiling at my face, / Have plucked my nipple from its boneless gums, / and dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you / Have done to this" (I, vii, 54-8). Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to commit a murder that he was not planning on committing. Lady Macbeth influenced Macbeth enough to change his mind, and Macbeth does end up killing King Duncan.

When Macbeth meets with the witches for the second time, they show him four apparitions. The second and third apparitions imply to Macbeth that he is invincible. The second apparition tells Macbeth, "The power of man, for...
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