Macbeth’s Killing of King Duncan in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth
The play of Macbeth was technically set in the 11th century (despiteshowing little indication of the period). The Scottish play waswritten by William Shakespeare in 1606 and is one of his tragedies, inthat the main characters struggle with circumstances and meet deathand despair.
It was allegedly written for King James 1st by Shakespeare to act as apropaganda tool to basically scare people against trying to kill theKing, as Guy Fawkes had attempted to do. It is noted that King Jameswas fascinated by witchcraft and at the time when it was written therewas a strong cultural belief in supernatural objects such as the Deviland witches.
There are many factors that we must consider when deciding whopersuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan. Despite the question being arelatively easy one we must look at a number of key issues in greaterdepth.
Macbeth is a hero at the start of the play but he becomes an evil manas we approach the end. Is he a victim of either his wife or thewitches or did he have a choice and chose evil over good?
Let us firstly consider whether or not the witches were influential inpersuading Macbeth to kill Duncan. They hail Macbeth as “Thane ofGlamis!” “Thane of Cawdor!” and prophesised “that shalt be kinghereafter”.
The first time Macbeth is hailed as “Thane of Glamis” confirms thatthe witches know who he is. The second time they hail him as “Thane ofCawdor` he seems to ponder upon this, and as soon as the witchesdisappear two of Duncan`s other loyal thanes appear and announceMacbeth Thane of Cawdor. He now starts to accep…
…acknowledged as being important as men despite the factthat Queen Elizabeth was crowned the first queen of England duringShakespeare’s time.
The play illustrates that if woman have power they can turn things toevil “fair is foul” contradiction. Something can be good in somepeople eyes.
If the play is acted it can be made completely different with the samewords i.e. the interpretation of the actors
Finally the death of Duncan does not make either of them happy becausethey have not earned the sovereign power. Surely Macbeth would ratherhave a clear soul/conscience than hold the most supreme position inScotland without dignity and the right to know that he has obtainedhis status through honest means. Could the problem be that he is loyalto his wife and country but maybe not loyal to his own conscience?