Are the Witches Responsible for Duncan’s Death? Opinion Essay

March 9, 2022 by Essay Writer

The three witches were doing their work by giving their prophecy to Macbeth and Banquo and hence are not responsible for the murder of King Duncan and Banquo’s family. In this play, Shakespeare stipulates that it was Macbeth’s choice which caused the death of Duncan the King. It was the obligation of the witches to prophesy but they didn’t make things to happen.

The play clearly outlines that there is only one responsible person for the death of the King Duncan and this is Macbeth. Although many people argue that the three witches or Lady Macbeth played part in influencing Macbeth to kill Duncan, this should not be true. The witches only told their prophecy of Macbeth possibility of becoming a king but they didn’t suggest murder.

Macbeth reached the murder decision only because of his power hunger for he wanted to climb and rise to the throne. Despite the fact that the witches had motivated Macbeth ambitious, they had nothing to do with his decision making.

For example, Banquo was given good news by the witches about the likelihood of his children becoming kings and yet he did not rush to murder as it’s in the Macbeth’s case. So if the witches had supernatural powers then Banquo too would have preferred murder to all those seemed to be a block to his children’s achievements. It’s also believed that Lady Macbeth should be blamed for Macbeth’s actions.

She openly question Macbeth’s courage and abuse him for not being man enough while making decisions. She tells her that he should not fear to act. She suggests murder and eventually Macbeth is the one to bear responsibilities of executing the king. After the murder of Duncan the relationship between the Macbeth and his wife weaken and he no longer trusts her in his ambition.

In this play, one of the characters that appears as a tragic hero is Macbeth, she has to bear the responsibilities for his actions at any time (Greenblatt, Cohen, Howard and Maus 56).

He realized this later when he engaged in a fight with Macduff knowing that he would emerge a loser. It’s seen throughout the play that Macbeth has power to make free options and choices and no one can force him to do anything and he makes his final decisions.

As we focus on the issue of the king’s death, overtly it seems to be very complex and sophisticated matter to declare who was responsible for his death. In the first point, one would think that Lady Macbeth, in collaboration with the other witches, were solely accountable and responsible for the death of the king.

This is true to some extend by the fact of Macbeth’s comments in section three of part one when she appraises of the supernatural power as having the power of unfixing his hair. Furthermore, the last part of depicts that Macbeth had hidden illicit agenda whereby he prays that there would be no light that would shine and let others have sight on his black and deep cravings.

Thus, it appears that the killing of the king is partially linked to the acts of the witches, that is through the act of using supernatural powers dissipated through witches’ prophesies for they were human being with same kind of feeling as the king. In brief, the idea of king’s murder through witches is far match complex when looked into it from the religiosity perspective, or the act of free will and fate.

Work Cited

Greenblatt, Stephen, Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard and Katharine Eisaman Maus. The Norton Shakespeare. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.

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