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What arguments does Macbeth make in his soliloquy in Act 1, scene 7 against the murder...

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alannahmcb | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 21, 2012 at 6:09 PM via web

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What arguments does Macbeth make in his soliloquy in Act 1, scene 7 against the murder of Duncan in Macbeth?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM (Answer #1)

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Macbeth tries to talk himself into killing Duncan, but he does not want to because Duncan has promoted him, because they are kinsman, and because Duncan is his guest.

Macbeth is concerned about killing Duncan because he is his kinsman and his subject.  He should be loyal to Duncan, not murder him.

He's here in double trust: 

First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, 

Strong both against the deed (Act 1, scene 7)

Macbeth notes that he is also Duncan’s host, and it is his responsibility to “shut the door” against his murderer, not murder him himself.

Macbeth also notes that Duncan is a good king, and does not deserve death.

Besides, this Duncan 

Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been 

So clear in his great office, that his virtues 

Will plead like angels trumpet-tongued against 

The deep damnation of his taking-off (Act 1, scene 7)

Duncan has done nothing to cause Macbeth to kill him.  He has been a loyal subject to the king, and there is no reason for the king to suspect otherwise.  It is only Macbeth’s ambition that causes him to murder Duncan.  His ambition, and his wife’s prodding.

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