Macbeth's Murder of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay example

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Macbeth's Murder of Duncan in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Shakespeare uses the Greek idea of Tragedy in his play 'Macbeth' when he focuses on one character with a fatal flaw that brings him greatness but eventually leads to his downfall. However, 'Macbeth' is not a typical example of a Greek Tragedy: A Greek hero would not be responsible for his down fall, whereas Macbeth brings it on himself. Macbeth's ambition is the main factor in driving him to murder. Other factors such as the predictions of the witches and Lady Macbeth's persuasive techniques have a part in Macbeth's transformation, although his ambition is the driving force.

Macbeth's encounter with the witches early on in Act one
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In his letter to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is no longer hiding his thoughts. The possibility that he could be King fuels Macbeth's confidence. 'Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it…' Macbeth is undeniably amazed and delighted by the prospect. All though Macbeth does not speak of murdering Duncan at this point, the notion may have occurred to him. Perhaps becoming Thane of Cawdor indicates to him that he is admired and trusted and therefore would not be suspected of Duncan's murder.

Having established that it is his destiny to be King, Macbeth is angry and frustrated to hear that Malcolm is to be Prince of Cumberland. Before the announcement, Duncan implies to Macbeth that he shall be heir to the thrown. 'I have begun to plant thee and will labour to make thee full of growing. 'In his exasperation Macbeth realises that he is destined to become King through unnatural methods. 'Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires.' This shows that Macbeth recognises that he will have to commit murder to achieve his aspiration. After hearing the news, Macbeth may have felt resentful towards the King and perhaps less inclined to be loyal. This might make it easier to consider the thought of murdering him. Also, Macbeth is aware that Malcolm, the heir to the throne would be immediately suspected of Duncan's murder.

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