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Consider the events leading up to the murder of King Duncan. What elements contributed to his death?

Uploaded by Gopherboy99 on Oct 02, 2001

Regicide is the killing of a king. It is an event prevalent in Macbeth as the main focus of the story is of killing to gain power. In the play Macbeth the character Macbeth takes the easy route to power by killing the king and usurping the throne for himself. While this route to power seemed easy in plan the consequences for the country of Scotland and Macbeth are dire.

The chain of being is an idea or philosophy that was prevalent during Shakespeare’s time. It is an ordered hierarchical system of government. In Shakespeare’s time people believed there was a greater power controlling life. As long as this divine order was maintained chaos wouldn’t take control. The murder of the king would throw the system into chaos. The act would be a crime against god. At the top of the chain is god with ultimate power over everything. Down from the top goes King, Thanes citizens and animals at the bottom. As you can see Macbeth’s place is thane. This gives him a duty to the king and god that he must obey, they are his superiors. In Shakespeare’s time a king is chosen by God, it was his will that a king was produced after all; life is an act of God and terminating one so close to god would be a sinful act. This is shown in Macbeth by dark clouds appearing on the horizon and all of Scotland being shrouded in darkness for the entirety of the play, this is meant to represent the evil brewing in Scotland. It is only when the king is finally killed does the country become totally dark, latent natural imagery vanishes from the kingdom as evil takes control. Killing a king, even today in modern society is the utmost crime. It is the only crime in the United Kingdom, which still caries the death penalty. Such an act weighed heavy on Macbeth’s mind and eventually drove him mad. For such an act the only words which spark the beginning of the murder comes from the witches who recite a prophecy to Macbeth.

The three witches are introduced at the start of the play, capturing the scene using dramatic dialogue and atmosphere. They appear amongst thunder and lightning. This dark weather creates a sign of things to come and signals the arrival of evil to Scotland. It could be argued that the witches...

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Uploaded by:   Gopherboy99

Date:   10/02/2001

Category:   Macbeth

Length:   24 pages (5,420 words)

Views:   4012

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